Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mommy Confessional – Part Deux

1. I have to start this post by explaining that I was not trying to start a mommy uproar with part 1 of my “Mommy Confessional”. I wrote that blog post for my kids. I want them to be able to look back on it when they have children of their own. The message I was trying to get across was that mommy is confident in her decisions, but that a lot of those decisions aren’t always the popular choice. I also want them to see, as parents, we all experience judgment from others. It’s part of the job. I know my kiddos will experience it when they have their own kids, so I want them to know it is normal. They will probably read that post and think, “why did you feed us all of that junk?”. Ha! But they will know I was confident in the choices I was making.
2. Watch this video before you read on. This is the PERFECT example of what I was trying to explain. I am 100% the woman in the green sports bra. LOL!!!!
I wrote this blog post from MY perspective. I often feel as though I don’t have the better/healthier/more socially acceptable form of parenting. I am 100% confident with the choices I have made (well, 95% confident…..or 85%? Are any of us 100% sure of what we are doing? HA.), but these choices are never going to win those “mommy debates” we find ourselves in. Here is what I mean:

Me: “I use disposable diapers.”
Other mom: “Did you know that disposable diapers make up a huge part of the garbage we dump in our nation's landfills every year? That is why we chose to use cloth diapers.”
What I wanted to say, but kept to myself: For me, this is a choice of convenience. I don’t want to deal with poopy diapers any longer than the two seconds it takes me to get it in the diaper genie.
Other mommy -1. Me- 0.

Jaycoby: “Mom, can I have a juice box?”
Me: “Sure.”
Other mom: “We don’t let our kids have high fructose corn syrup.”
What I wanted to say, but kept to myself: High fructo…what? To me, it is just juice. Everything in moderation, right?
Other mommy- 2. Me- 0.

Me: “Is it okay if we share our fruit snacks?” (offering to a friend’s child)
Other mom: “Do you know how much sugar they have in those things?”
What I wanted to say, but kept to myself: Nope! I don’t.
Other mommy- 3. Me- 0.

Me: “I will use spanking as a form of punishment, if I feel it is needed.”
Other mom: “I don’t want to tell my child they aren’t allowed to hit and then, in turn, hit them as a consequence. I don’t know how I could live with myself if I hit my kid like you do.”
What I wanted to say, but kept to myself: REALLY????? This is not a form of punishment I ENJOY. What I do know is that it has taken very few spankings to get positive results for MY child. There was also a period of time when we only used time outs, because that is what worked best. Either way, I do not appreciate you making it sound like I beat my child. And also (in this particular situation), who has the better behaved child? Just sayin’.
Other mommy- 4. Me- 0.

Me: “I had an epidural with both of my labors, but neither of them worked.”
Other mom: “Obviously you didn’t need one, if they don’t work on you. It’s probably better if you don’t have one anyway…..I didn’t have an epidural….”
What I wanted to say, but kept to myself: I’m a big weenie and I wanted it to hurt as little as possible when I was in labor (not that it worked). And if I felt like there was a huge risk to my child, I wouldn’t have gotten one. But I didn’t. So I got one. And let me bow down to you because you had a NATURAL L&D. All that matters to me is that the baby gets here okay. It doesn’t make us better or worse if we had an epidural or not. We are both lucky to have healthy babies.
Other mommy- 5. Me- 0.

I don’t think I need to go on. You get the idea.
*All of these things have been said to me over the course of five years and were not said by the same person. Or maybe they were? I don’t remember. It doesn’t matter.
I know some of you see these posts as fightin’ words. They aren’t. These are my own personal experiences and I am responding to them with some frustration and a sense of humor. I don’t mean for any of this to be too serious. It is just how I feel and I am entitled to feel this way. These are real examples of things I have had people say to me over the last five years and some of them have hurt. Like I said in part 1, we brush them off, but the emotions surrounding these comments can build up over time. I guess I was just having a bad day and had heard one “comment” too many. So I responded on my blog, because I can.
Let’s get a few things straight:
1. I do not think there is a “right” or “wrong” way to parent your child. I do not think my way is better. I often wish I had the energy to do things that I hear other mom’s talking about, but I am just too darn lazy. And that’s okay. My kids still like me. Lol
2. “To each their own”- Word!
3. “We adapt our parenting style to the child’s needs and personality”- I wholeheartedly agree.
4. “We are all doing the best we can”- couldn’t have said it better myself!
5. I AM doing a great job! I have had several of you tell me what a wonderful job I am doing, after reading my first post. I am not disagreeing with you. Ha! My first blog post was defending my choices because I really feel that those choices are okay (not “right”, but they are okay). I do not doubt those choices. But a lot of those choices are frowned on and I can’t, in good judgment, say “processed food (which I will give to my children) is the best thing for your kid”. That is just ridiculous.
6. It is not a competition. Do I have a competitive drive? You better believe it! But that isn’t what this is about.
7. I do not think the examples that I listed in part 1 are the best, or only, way to do things. It isn’t about who is doing it better…which is the point I was trying to get across. In my experience, I have found that when I say something in passing (i.e., “I had an epidural”, “Did you know Costco has an awesome deal on fruit snacks?”, “Sure, Jaycoby, you can have a drink of my soda”, etc.), other people look at it as an opportunity to criticize, or share a healthier/more appropriate way of doing it. I JUST LIKE TO TALK openly and share my style and experiences. But I have found that other people see my sharing as an opportunity to tell me how they do it in a more socially acceptable way. We have ALL had this happen to us!!!!! And I’m sure that I have made others feel this way as well, without intention. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it when it happens to me.
8. This is simply my perspective.
A quote I have always enjoyed:
"The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one."
~ Jill Churchill
I strive for “good” every day.


Our Family Adventure said...


Rachel said...

Oh yeah, I remember that one. And was there an uproar...I'll go back and read your comments.
You are so far ahead of the game...with Sawyer I was pretty sure that I was screwing the kid up (I was about 10% confident in my choices)! I had the kid who cried when we left anywhere, threw a fit almost every time at the store (eventually you have to buy eggs and butter, not just leave), would not sit and play/listen/follow directions nicely like all the other kids. I knew I was screwing her up...but I just kept at it. Didn't have to spank...she HATED the corner. Reed gets swats because he loves the corner and asks to stay longer or puts himself in it.
I don't eat trans fats/high fructose...but my children do!! I tried to take Sawyer off it and she tried to starve to death at 4!!! So my kids eat crap...and I don' is that for bad parenting?
Reed is an angel compared to parenting Sawyer...and I feel like I deserve it after spending 2 years (ages 2~3) feeling like EVERYONE judged me and my horrible child.
Jaycoby is such a well behaved/good kid, that you know you are doing something right! Here's to those of us who are "Bad Parents"!!!

Meghan said...

I like your style.

Colie said...

I'm pretty surprised that these things have been said to you! I really cannot believe it and it is pretty disappointing. Moms need so support one another! So, here is to us moms ... lets encourage one another and dont give advice unless its asked (and then with an intent to help problem solve not add guilt)

Meredith said...

you crack me up!! It is all so true and I agree with you 100%

Gaby said...

I haven't visited your blog in a long time! I love this post! Something I've appreciated about MOMS club is that there are lots of different types of moms and I've never felt like others were being critical.
I love your quote BTW. And yes, you are a good mom. And yes, it's OK to eat at Taco Bell. But maybe not OK to have them on speed dial ;)

Gaby said...

Oddly, enough, I've felt much more criticism from moms at church. Shouldn't be that way.
You have to have confidence in your choices- even if you will change your mind the next day. I learn something new every day (wait...every hour usually!). And my excuse for using cloth diapers....I grew up in Eugene ;)