Thursday, May 8, 2014

This Isn't Another Mushy Mommy Post

One of my very first posts talked about how I became a mother in my (very) early 20s, but how it was all worth it and I'd do it again in a heartbeat yada yada yada. That is all true of course, but I think there are two sides to every coin, and there are many moments to every motherhood.

Few things give me more contempt that mothers who smugly declare to the world that motherhood is nothing but joy, sunshine and rainbows. I call their B.S. right now. Motherhood is freaking hard, and yes, of course the rewards are more than worth it, but that doesn't make it any less of a bumpy road. Anyone who says raising a tiny human is all smooth sailing probably drinks a little too much wine with dinner or something and can they please share their secret with us mortals?

I have been a mother for just over 3.5 years and I already know that I've screwed up more times than I care to admit. But I'm only human, and my child is alive and well fed so I figure I must be doing a good enough job. In the spirit of the upcoming Mother's Day, this post is dedicated to all mommies out there who, like me, feel guilty way too often about their parenting. I'm learning to rid myself of unnecessary guilt and I'm starting here.

- Children can be really irritating creatures. Mix together a long day and about twenty "Mommmmy"s and you are bound to lose it a bit. You are allowed to lose it every once in a while, don't beat yourself up about it. Losing your temper does not equal abuse.

- Feeding them a Happy Meal when you are too busy to cook a proper meal every once in a while isn't going to kill them. I don't care how many smug moms say otherwise, a cheeseburger once every two months hasn't poisoned any kid I know.

- I really don't like cursing but I would be the biggest liar in the world if I said I've never accidentally uttered the f-word while driving, forgetting my super attentive child is in the back. Give me a break, he was going to hear it sooner or later.

- I've been known to put my kid down to sleep a bit earlier once or twice because I just really didn't want to miss an episode of The Big Bang Theory, or because I was getting dangerously close to murdering him and that would be unfortunate. And guess what? There were no dramatic consequences from him going to sleep 20 minutes before he usually does. Go figure.

- I have to admit that I have used the iPad or TV as a babysitter before. Look, when I'm sleep deprived and I know I can get a good half an hour of rest thanks to Thomas The Tank Engine, I'm only human and I give in it temptation. I'm pretty sure he is not going to get overly traumatised by that, as long as it doesn't become a daily occurrence.

- I feel bad sometimes (often, really) that I'm not the kind of mom who bakes homemade cookies every week, or the perfect perfect macaroons, or heck, even a simple birthday cake! I'll never be the kind of mom who when kids come to play, shows up with freshly baked goodies, and I need to come to terms with that. But I am instead the mom who tells him a story every night before bed, who drops him off at school every morning and picks him up, and asks about his day and has tickle fights with him. I can't be everything, nor do I have to. And that will be good enough for him.

I am a firm believer that even if you don't abide by every single rule in the "How To Be A Perfect Parent" book (who even wrote that!?), if you have a well-fed, generally happy child, you are doing a heck of a good job. So on Sunday, pat yourself in the back, let yourself be spoiled and pour yourself a well-deserved glass of vino.

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