It's been a while since I wrote a blog post about anything of substance, and I'll just warn you now: I'm running on fatigued, emotionally unbalanced pregnant brain. (Case in point: I bought tickets to Wicked at 3:00 a.m. a couple weeks ago when I couldn't sleep. Thought I was putting them on a credit card. Found out later that I made the purchase with a debit card without enough money in the account........three more purchases, a few phone calls and hefty fees later, I fixed it. ARGHHH.)
Actually, I've been more emotionally unstable the last couple months than ever before. I'm thinking it's a combination of hormones and the weather that forces me to stay cooped up inside with two little ones for days on end. We see less of Slice now, although his workweek is now five days long instead of eight, and I haven't left the Basin in two months. Thanks for asking.
Anyway, the topic of discourse this evening is something I've mulled over for at least a year now: Mom Guilt. The all-pervasive, inevitable plague that falls upon a woman the instant she conceives, supposedly determining every choice she makes from then on.
Here's the thing - I don't suffer from it. And I don't understand why so many women do.
I read posts about women choosing to stay home with children despite pressure to work; women working despite pressure to stay home; women "being brave enough" to say that they have a hard time staying home; moms exercising/not exercising to keep their figures/sanity; parents saying they don't love parenting all the time; people saying "you don't have to be perfect!" and I think ..... well, duh. You didn't need to tell me that.
I know I'm a good mom; I don't feel pressure to be perfect. I know what I am doing is worthwhile. Hard and exhausting, brain-sucking, menial, occasionally infuriating, yes. But still worthwhile.
I let my babies cry it out. I feed them cow's milk before a year old. I don't keep their carseats rear-facing for two years. Sometimes I yell at them. Sometimes I let them have too much screen time. Sometimes I let them drink pop. Sometimes I say "no" just to say it. I don't feel guilty about any of these things, and I don't need anyone to tell me not to feel guilty about them. Also, go ahead and try the opposite approach!
Have you noticed that the people feeling judged most are usually the ones doing the most judging? Women can be so dramatic. Not me, though. You actually have to try to offend me. Just like Eleanor Roosevelt said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent," I submit that no one can make you feel guilty without your consent.
So, mothers (and everyone else), STOP giving your consent! If you feel guilty about what you're doing, stop doing it! But if the worst thing you're doing is feeding your kids boxed mac & cheese for dinner, then you're doing fine so stop feeling guilty about it. Your guilty feelings are contributing to their future unhappiness because they've grown up in a perfect world with impossible expectations. And because, as we all know, parents are to blame for all their kids' failures.
All of this is to say Stop the Guilt. Stop taking offense when no offense was intended. The so-called Mommy Wars would be over if we all stopped adding fuel to the fire. Let's love each other and love our decisions, and sing Kumbaya in a big circle while holding hands. Seriously.
Christmas was especially fun this time around because the kids are starting to understand it. We had elves and Santa visits and decorating and programs and lots of discussing the nativity, what Christmas is really about. Despite my careful teaching, MG has her own ideas of who the nativity characters are, and she will correct you if you try to tell her otherwise. That's my feisty girl.
Christmas Eve, on the other hand, was a real doosy. We had a drain/flooding problem in our basement that Slice had to sort out earlier in the day. Then our progressive dinner started at Angie's house, where Liam had an accident but demanded that we put his dirty underwear back on him. Uh, no. He screamed about his other choices - girly pullup or Thomas the Train underwear! - for long enough that we missed most of the program we were supposed to participate in at the neighborhood care center.
Dessert was at my mom's, where MG soaked through her diaper and clothes. She danced around mostly naked during the nativity while Liam threw punches around the manger, saying "I'm Joseph HERO! I have a HEADBAND!" which I certainly did NOT teach him. Good grief.
Christmas PJs were Batman and Batgirl. I just couldn't resist. It's probably the last time I can do coordinating pajamas, you know? Liam's never even seen Batman but he wouldn't take these off for two days. The capes are a huge hit.
We got home Christmas Eve night and I got sick almost immediately. I went to bed and let Slice play Santa, but didn't throw up until 6:00 Christmas morning. Oh joy! Then we stayed home all day (missed talking to Ki over Skype) just in case I was contagious. I think it was something in the dessert.
Posted by Jean at 2:11 PM