The Mom Blog

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.

 

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5 thoughts on “The Mom Blog

  1. I had to laugh that you nap on your trampoline. My partner and I sleep overnight on ours at least once a summer. It’s fantastic! Good for you for being the best parent you can be and for understanding that yes, you need to recharge!!! Parenting is the toughest (and greatest) job, and requires a ton of energy. Enjoy those naps!

  2. People jokingly say that there are no instruction manuals when one has a baby. That is true, but when you think about it, social media IS the instruction manual now whenever you go online to find out about just anything. With all the people out there giving good (or bad) advice, the parent can use that and decide if it is the best for his or her child. With all the blogs and information out there at fingertips, parenting has become a bit more simpler that what it used to be.

    • I think all the advice out there is what makes parenting harder. Back in the day you probably parented more with your gut. I do my best to parent with my gut and instincts more than by what I find on social media. It gets too confusing otherwise as there always seems to be some kind of stance opposing the view you read about. Makes it confusing and I think it makes us less confident in our parenting decisions.

  3. My sister had her first child about 8 months so recently I became an uncle. She literally has no time do anything.. taking care of a baby is very difficult work. From doing daily errands, to even spending family time… she finds herself running around which of course is ok since the child is priority. I just got a glimpse of how it is having a child, and I never truly realized the effort that mothers put into it.

  4. Hi Louise: your stance on this matter is sooo…refreshing…(!). I rarely hear mothers standing their ground on the fundamental importance of their own well-being. It’s even rarer to hear one take on the myth that martyrdom is the only path to motherhood. Although, I’m not a parent, I’m a very devoted auntie who moved in with my sister and her 2-year old to help for the first five months of her second daughter’s life following harsh and unforeseen medical and marital developments. Even after I moved out, I’ve maintained a very close relationship with my nieces thanks to proximity and near daily contact. As such, I know a thing or two about taking care of newborns, infants, toddlers and now… children. I can say with certainty [based on what I witnessed and experienced]…that back-burnering yourself endlessly doesn’t do you or your child any favours That nap that you’re being made to feel guilty about is a life saver, especially to single mothers trying to keep it all together. Most of my closest friends and family are single-parents with primary custody. In other words, they run the show; if things don’t work out for their cubs:it’s on them. The pressure they’re under is enormous and failure is not an option One of my best friends once remarked that when your parenting solo, it makes no difference whether you have 2 kids or 4, because once you hit that magic “2”…you’re outnumbered and everything is harder. She swears by the restorative and sanity-guaranteeing properties of a nap and refuses to give them up. She’s learned the hard way that being exhausted, overdone and lonely can lead one to resent motherhood. This goes doubly so if the father isn’t particularly interested, competent or even present. Over time,that lack of consistent “me” time alone or with good friends undermines your ability to feel connected and supported. Research shows that when parents take adequate care of themselves they are physically healthier, more energetic and psychologically more disposed to being more attentive and present in their children’s lives. You can’t get blood from a stone. If you’re physically and psychologically depleted: how are you able to pool the necessary resources to parent well?All the women I know who are raising their kids on their own would step in front of a speeding vehicle for their children and can’t imagine having any other life than the one they have. But all of them admit their own self-deprivation has been motivated by guilt or the fear of social opprobrium. Although self-care comes more naturally to them these days, it’s still not a notion they have fully embraced. The current trend favouring child worship isn’t helping much either. Suzanne Moore wrote a piece about its effect on UK communities [ see http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/23/worship-children-brings-misery-suzanne-moore%5D for the The Guardian back in 2013. In it she deplored the rise of a style of parenting that thinks “baby drumming” for a six month old should be the norm, but tut-tuts the Mom who wants to share a glass of vino with her girlfriends and talk about something other than teething and diaper rash. That said, I commend you for embracing your “selfish side” and for giving to yourself whatever you require so you can be a great Mom and individual. Congratz on also thinking for yourself and not being a slave to whatever the latest fashion is, including the pointless venture that is child worship.

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