Remember, back in the day, when parenting was done mostly in private? When the only advice new parents received was from their own parents, their in-laws, or their mom-friends?
I don’t, because my mothering journey began after social media took over.
I often wonder what it must have been like to be a mom when there wasn’t a million opinions to filter through. Now, with something as simple as sleeping, I can easily find a dozen different opinions on what is best for my baby. Even when I’m not actively searching out parenting advice… BAM! There it is on my Facebook feed. One of my own friend’s posting of an article about sharing or the importance of feeding your children organic. Some I agree with, some I don’t; but all make me roll my eyes.
I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’m a great mom! I love my children more than anything and will protect them and love them even after my last breath. But guess what else… I nap without guilt. I let them watch TV without guilt and have non-organic ice cream without guilt.
The only time I’ve ever felt a touch of guilt is when I read an article like this. I actually felt guilty because the stuff that makes her feel selfish or guilty, I do on a regular basis without any hesitation. Kristina Wright writes:
A vicious stomach bug made its way through our house last month, hitting me especially hard. I was still feeling the after effects of exhaustion even after my kids bounced back and were ready to return to school. I dropped them off one morning and told one of the teachers I was going home to take a nap.
“Oh, isn’t it nice that you can do that,” she said.
It was a harmless comment and I have no doubt it was meant with the most innocent and kindest intentions. But I felt an ugly, hard knot in my stomach at her words.
Selfish, a little voice whispered in my head. You’re selfish.
So I often nap on my best days… for a few hours… on my trampoline. Why would I feel guilty about my trampoline naps? Two of my kids are learning and eating healthy lunches at school, the other one is enjoying her own nap (in her crib, mind you). I’ve heard the saying that crazy people don’t know they’re crazy; maybe selfish people don’t know they’re selfish… and am I actually selfish?
Many of the “selfish” things I do make me a better mom. I have more energy after a nap and I have more patience after a kid-free dinner with friends. So no, I’m not selfish. I’m normal, and incredibly happy.
I know other parents don’t have the same experiences that I’ve had as a mom, so I don’t expect anyone to do what I do or to feel how I feel. What I would like to see is that us parents can be confident in our parenting abilities. Chances are you are a good mom or dad, and don’t let posts like these ever make you question the kind of parent you are.
Now excuse me while I go for a nap.