On Twitter @TheRealStacyES
I’m a mom. It’s what I do. But I do it like a boss.
I realized I was not giving myself enough credit for being a good mom. I was letting the Internet get the better of me. I kept telling myself I wasn’t fun enough, I wasn’t carefree enough, I needed to allow more mess in our lives and I should never raise my voice because that’s what was making for any kind of bad day in our house. It was making me sad and depressed.
I am not a stay-at-home mom, though I am sometimes at home while being a mom, I am also working during those times. You can trash the glamorous illusion that working from home is glamorous because it’s really not. There are moments of glamor that include never getting dressed all day and smelling badly and not caring (that’s my kind of glamor) but in reality, it’s a lot of standing at the kitchen counter with a fussy baby on your hip, phone headset on your head on mute, answering emails with one hand and hoping the rest of your conference call people can’t hear you chewing on your fourth granola bar for the day. You start to live for the days you do go to the office, even if it’s a 1.5-hour commute it means you shower (usually) and listen to news from the outside world.
So back to that part about me making myself feel bad for setting rules, banning TV, allowing for too much TV and not making homemade valentine’s cards for my daughter’s school party and generally forgetting to send whatever it was her class was supposed to send for whatever holiday it had gotten to be while I was still signing bill checks as 2012.
It’s not that I was trying to do it all, but we are simply a two-income family. I am working on my dissertation (OK, I am working on my dissertation proposal) and I work full time. I also teach university classes every other semester. This is the scaled back version of my life that came about when we had our son, our second child, almost seven years after the first.
So why am I here? Why am I contributing to the blog-o-fear that has come about in the world of parenting and motherhood? Where there are 52 ways to train your kid to sleep and 75 ways to feed them, none of which you are doing and what you are doing is obviously very wrong? I’m here because I like to laugh. I don’t care about the rules, I don’t care about lying to the pediatrician about where we keep our cleaning supplies (not sure about you, but we don’t drink bleach at our house so pretty sure my son won’t either, my daughter managed babyhood without any glass cleaner ingestion incidents, too). Yes, I tell my child “no” and that’s how I baby proof things. Did it damage my daughter’s self-confidence? Maybe, not sure, but she seems to be dealing with it just fine. I am also to the point in my life where I figure, if my family and friends were going to disown me for anything, they would have done it by now so it’s probably forgivable for me to make a fool of myself on the Internet. I will attempt to occasionally mask names to protect the innocent and my seat at Thanksgiving dinner.
I see a lot of parents in my office, parents of college students; parents who come in or call in to make excuses for their adult children. I place my face in my palm daily when I meet these young adults. So, call me mean, call me harsh but I love my kids and I love them enough to allow them to learn how to deal with life.
So that is what this is all about. If you don’t laugh, go someplace else, I am done apologizing for my lack of joy in Pinterest, for my failure to be clever and crafty and I am going to relax, live for the weekends, refuse to clean the stove range (sorry, Andy…I know you hate that) and watch the people in my house muck through becoming a family. You can’t post our love on Pinterest, you can’t make it out of dough or ribbon, but you can see it and feel it and that’s all that matters.
**DISCLAIMER #1: I do not hate Pinterest, or the people who use it. I myself have an account. I am merely saying that it started making me feel inadequate which I realize is my own fault, not that of Pinterest or its users. I think it is a wonderful web tool. Go forth and PIN. That is all.