Mamas Corner

When I was pregnant, I hated when people told me to make the most of the time I had before the baby got here. Seriously, when people said this, I wanted to punch them in the face. Janet recently sent me this article and I related to it so much. The author, Steve Wiens, feels the same way when people encourage him to enjoy every second with his kids because “time goes too fast”. I think both of us would agree that while both statements are true, the reality is that statements like these don’t help. All I wanted toward the end of my pregnancy was to meet my baby. Advising me to enjoy that time just gave me a challenge I couldn’t win and made me feel like a failure more so than I was already feeling after dealing with a post-due baby that wouldn’t come out. Along the same lines, Wiens writes, “We know it’s true that they grow up too fast. But feeling like I have to enjoy every moment doesn’t feel like a gift, it feels like one more thing that is impossible to do, and right now, that list is way too long. Not every moment is enjoyable as a parent; it wasn’t for you, and it isn’t for me. You just have obviously forgotten. I can forgive you for that. But if you tell me to enjoy every moment one more time, I will need to break up with you.”
Much of what he says is reminiscent of this post, with the take home message as this: you are not a terrible parent if you don’t enjoy your children every second of every day. He writes,
“You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your friend’s children do. She’s obviously using a bizarre and probably illegal form of hypnotism.
You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they’d be put in prison.
You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively devise.
You are not a terrible parent if you’d rather be at work.
You are not a terrible parent if you just can’t wait for them to go to bed.
You are not a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop.
You’re not a terrible parent.”
It’s an important reminder. Today we are inundated with information on how to parent, strategies to consider, new recalls, and so on and so forth. It’s easy to read a baby blog and feel like your life can’t compare, that you’re not as good as a mother, that your child is not as advanced. I’m with Wiens in that we need to embrace who we are as parents, the good and the bad. It’s okay to have bad days. It’s okay to let your child watch TV all day so you can have a break. Greasy food won’t kill them once in a while. It’s okay to call your kid an asshole behind their back and mean it. None of this makes us bad parents; it makes us real parents. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, instead of scrutinizing one another we ought to throw one another a bone. Pat one another on the back.
So in an effort to equalize the playing field, I thought I’d share a couple of my own mommy confessions. Here we go: When Van bites my nipple during a feeding, I want to throw him across the room. When we travel with Sarah, I give her Benadryl so she goes to sleep (and I’ll consider doing the same for my children should they become pesky car travelers when they’re older). I let both of my children eat dog food when trying to keep them away from the dog food proved to be too much. I’ve yelled at my kids loud enough for my neighbors to hear. I gave Van strawberries at six months old and they weren’t even organic. Oh ya, and I had

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a beer when I was pregnant. I know, I know… I’m craaaaaazy.

And you know what? I’m a good mom. I’ve never doubted it. Want to judge me? Go for it. I know who I am.
Please, share your confessions as well.

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8 Responses

  • I’ve never understood why motherhood has to have some kind of moral high ground. I don’t care to stand in judgement of how anyone else parents their children as long as the child is being taken care of – people need to do what works for them. Some people tell me they never yell at or tell their children no – because they want them to make their own decisions – their children must not share a thread of DNA with my 2 year old. She is wonderful, beautiful, and sometimes and absolute terror. I completely relate when Wiens says, “Most of the time, we feel like we’re botching the whole deal and our kids will turn into horrible criminals who hate us and will never want to be around us when they’re older.” I just told my husband last week that I was sure our daughter would try to cut my break lines when she’s older. I know what he means when he said one of his children was the next Steve Jobs. I have never met a more exacting human being than my 2 year old. She knows what she wants and the word No doesn’t intimidate her in the slightest – I wish I was a little more like that. She tries to push every button and test every boundary she can. We have some fabulous times together, but there are also times when she is a 3 foot tyrant and there’s just no sugar-coating it. Thank you for sharing Wiens’ article – it had me stifling laughs in my office.

  • I think this is why your blog is so popular–it’s real. I don’t relate to the people on Facebook who post all about the perfection of their child and their parenting and blah blah. Eyeroll. Boring. I have to assume it’s messy and scary and overwhelming just as much as it is joyful. Much of the guilt parents feel must come from these false images of perfection. TV shows, movies, Facebook pictures all make it seem so idyllic so it’s important for parents to remind each other that it isn’t. You are an amazing mom. Your boys are so, so, so lucky. I say that all the time, I know. They are especially lucky because their mom is honest in her affections (and her frustrations). Keep sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thank you for writing and sharing this. I’m absolutely in love with your words. In a world filled with “Pinterest Parents” it’s easy to feel inadequate and like you’re failing at every tiny thing that was never a usual worry. We all just need to do the best we can and love & care for our kids the way we know how.

  • Best Post Ever! I’m so tired of people judging me for the parenting decisions I have made and he is only 2 months old!!

  • You are awesome!! I wish I would’ve thought of giving the kids Benedryl for our drive to Arizona 2 weeks ago!! Maybe we wouldn’t have driven home in the middle of the night for a peaceful drive!!! Thank you for the great ideas, and for reminding us that’s it’s normal to have these feelings about your crazy kids! ๐Ÿ™‚ you’re doing a great job!!

  • Sometimes I think toddlerhood is like a hidden camera show, just waiting to see me lose my shit.

    I have Yo Gabba Gabba songs stuck in my head that I find myself humming at work.

    I may have referred to my toddler as an exercise in bi-polar…come on, you know they are.

    Yep, drinking wine in bed inbetween nighttime feedings, and there will be no pump and dump. (Don’t judge, it’s a small glass).

    Sometimes mommy (and Daddy) need a time out. This explanation actually works with my toddler as to why one parent is not coming out of the bedroom for a few minutes.

    If I hear the sound of Elmo’s voice one more time…

  • This resonated so much with me. I hate feeling like I’m a bad mom because I have days where I DO sit my toddler in front of Curious George so I can get a second to do things like pee, take a shower, and eat. (Totally normal luxuries after having two kids, right?) I really don’t know how some people do it, but I do know that my respect for all moms far and wide has grown exponentially since having children of my own. Thanks again for taking the time to write such an awesome reminder.


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