Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My soap box

Through a local message board I'm part of, I got turned onto this blog, Her Bad Mother. I read her post for today (and for yesterday) and it made me want to stand up and cheer. Hallelujah! Finally a woman who is not afraid to admit that she is not a poster mom for the PTA. Everywhere I turn we as mom's are bombarded with suggestions on how to maker our kids faster, smarter, taller, thinner, and just plain better if we were only better mom's. Except, every child is unique, their thoughts and behaviors are something all their own. And you know where they get that, from their unique mothers! We as a society are creating a generation of sheltered children who are unable to be creative, think for themselves, work for a goal and understand what it means to fail. It makes me want to yell, "Stop mothering your child!" Let them eat dirt, get runny noses, stub a few toes, bruise their knees, know disappointment and ruin a few outfits while trying to scale the jungle gym. Let them be kids!

My neighbor is expecting her first child. She and her husband tried for nearly two years to get pregnant, and finally they are exactly where they want to be. Except now she is starting to notice other kids when she is out. She observes their behaviors and makes mental notes on traits/actions she doesn't want her own child to exert. She's talked with me at great lengths about how my son is wonderfully behaved every time she sees him and marvels at how this is obviously a product of my husband and I's relaxed parenting style. While I appreciate her compliments, I modestly point out to her, that what she doesn't see are the shopping trips to Target where he's thrown a wholly fit in the toy aisle because I put back the Diego toy he wanted. Or the time we had to leave early from the restaurant (before we finished eating) because he wouldn't sit in his highchair any longer. Or the time before that, where he's yelling at the top of his lungs in the middle of the grocery store because dad had to go pee. I've been THAT mom, the one with the horrible kid who everyone judges based on her kids actions. And you know what, I DON'T CARE.

Because as an expectant mother, I read every book out there. I knew the books backwards and forwards. I *thought* I was prepared. Wrong! Nothing written in books can prepare you for the challenges that being a new parent throws at you. So throw the damn parenting books away and just learn as you go. Because if your force yourself to confine your parenting to what's written in books, you'll miss the amazingly funny results that come from letting your kids have fun. Just have fun, trust your instincts (yes you have them!) and your kid will be perfect all on his own, because he's yours.

But just in case you need a little proof that you are not, and will not be, a horrible parent...

Reason's why I know I'm also a "Bad Mother":
1) I didn't breastfeed because I didn't want to
2) I never instituted a bedtime schedule
3) I'm a mushy mom, i hate to let Tyler cry it out.
4) I have yelled at my son
5) I will give my child cold medicine if it makes him feel better
6) Tyler eats and likes cookies, cake, candy, and twizzlers (his fav)
7) I have used Noggin as a babysitter so I can get some "me" time
8) Tyler eats what he likes and what's convenient for me.
9) I am not a short order cook, he either eats what I put in front of him or not. There's always tomorrow
10) We eat frozen pizza
11) I only do laundry on the weekends, if it's dirty too bad, do it yourself.
12) He likes his binky, it makes him happy. And I'm ok with that. Leave it alone
13) I like to snuggle with Tyler in bed on the nights the husband is gone. If he falls asleep there, so what.
14) If he falls asleep in the same shirt he's had on all day, then he sleeps in it.

15) Spaghetti is a favorite food in our house, yes it's messy, but the pictures are funnier.
16) The garden hose has doubled as bathtime on hot nights.
17) I spank my child, he gets time outs, and hears stop and no.
18) Dirty binkies are still binkies, they stop meltdowns.
19) I didn't teach sign-language
20) I secretly cheer when he picks me over dad to make his boo-boo better.
21) If I smell a stinky diaper, I will call "Not it" on the husband
22) I don't pick up toys every night, most of the time I just shut the door and forget about it.
23) I've let Tyler play with things that would send other mom's into therapy.


Jenn Murray June 10, 2009 at 9:52 PM  

There's a book out called "I was the perfect Mother before I had children (or something like that)"....I couldn't say it better. There are TONS of things I swear that I wouldn't do (such as let my kids sleep with me), then you step back into reality and do whatever works. Having twins really throws you "good enough" mode which usually happens around kid 3.

I love my kids and will care for them to the best of my ability...if I ruin them, they're mine. LOL

Kim and Dave June 11, 2009 at 8:18 AM  

Andrea, this post is great! I feel like jumping up on my chair and shouting "Oh Captain, my Captain!"

Good for you. Tyler is obviously thriving.

Michelle June 11, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

All very true! I still read the books about once and month and always end up yelling at them. I don't know why I don't throw them out all together. I think of all the things that I said I wouldn't do before I was a mother and realize I knew nothing. It is learn as you go, change things on the fly and deal with whatever you can.

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