I'm starting to believe that the early years of parenting are akin to a black hole for your personal free time. That time from the birth of your first child until the the first day of school for your last child. I don't mean that negatively, mostly, but it is a temporary death for your personal free time.
It seems to me that moms are held to an impossible standard these days. Maybe they were before and it just wasn't as obvious as it is now thanks to social media, but it seems like moms are expected to be everything to everyone, be on top of it all, never fail, always look amazing, and never lose their shit.
In my first post, I explained what casual parenting is and I mistakenly likened it to “lazy parenting”. Over the course of the last few months, having spent more and more time around other parents and a variety of other parenting styles, I would like to take this time to retract my previous statement and clarify a few things.
I've been thinking a lot lately about who actually reads my blog. Who am I talking to when I write? Who am I hoping will read this and feel something (hopefully positive) towards my words? Who am I trying to reach?
Ever since Connor fell and nearly bit through his lower lip, I always just assumed I'd be pretty cool in a crisis, since I handled that one pretty smoothly. I felt confident in my ability to take care of what needed doing, keeping everyone else calm and stable, and getting everything done quickly and safely. Turns out, I was *mostly* right.
I was recently criticized for having a sign in my house with "adult language" out where my kids, and anyone else's could see it and read it. I was told I needed to take it down, if for no other reason than to censor it for someone else's kids, since I clearly don't have the decency to censor it for my own kids. I'm paraphrasing, so you'll have to humor me. That was the gist of the conversation.
As moms, we always think we have to be all things for everyone all the time. That's absolutely crazy. No one can be everything for everyone 24/7. It's insane to try and it will almost certainly make you lose your shit.
I often find myself thinking "If only they were bigger, then we could do *this* or go *there* or play *that*" then a few minutes later, one of them will do something "big" or I'll go through their clothes and pull out things that are tiny and think "They are growing up way too quickly." It's ridiculous and silly. I want them to be bigger so we can go on more adventures and I can stop changing diapers, but I want them to stay little and snuggly and sweet. I know this is a common predicament: The Parenting Time Paradox.
I've talked before about how hard parenting is, and how there's no cheat sheet or guide to raising good people.
I stand by that; there is no cheat sheet, and you know your kids better than anyone. That being said, you can learn from other peoples' experiences and try out what worked for them to see if it will work for you.
In that spirit, I've made a very short list of the things that we've done that have helped turn Connor, and will hopefully help Kylar become, helpful, sweet, well-behaved kids who can follow direction, but who have the confidence to try new things and solve their own problems.
I have always hated the phrase "boys will be boys." It's used as an excuse to justify bad behavior and/or being a jerk-face dick. I'm sorry, but since when does a penis give you a blank check to be aggressive, messy, mean or misbehave? I don't accept that.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community