Confession: I’m not supermom

This post was supposed to go live on Monday but life got in the way. Better late than never, I suppose.

The last few weeks I’ve done some parenting confessions and this week is no exception. I didn’t think I had so much to confess as a parent but clearly I do so we’ll keep this train rolling until it falls off the tracks. 

This week, I confess that I stopped trying to be supermom. As in, I don’t even try anymore. I turned in my cape and shield. And I’ve never been happier. 

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When my daughter was born, I had this notion in my head that I’d be the mom I’d been brainwashed to believe that I should be. I’d lose all the baby weight really quickly (ha! That’s a cruel ass joke. We’ll be diving into my weight issues in the next few weeks), I’d always look put together, my house would look Pinterest worthy (or whatever it was called in 2007, right after my daughter was born), I’d cook healthy meals, I’d be the classroom volunteer, and I’d be able to balance everything. My kid would always look supercute, I’d be organized, and I’d do all these fun crafts and projects and I’d look like the type of mom you read about on all those “I’m a perfect mom and you wish you were like me” blogs.

Which was insane of me to think. I am not that put together. If I got 2 of those done on any given day, I succeeded. But I had put so much pressure on myself to be the perfect mom that it led to some not so healthy behaviors, both physically and mentally. I’d beat myself up daily that the house was a disaster or I forgot to do laundry (again) or we had to get takeout (again) or I was a hot mess when I left the house. And we won’t even get into the mommy guilt about putting my daughter in daycare. 

Actually, yes. We will.

>>>steps on soapbox<<< My daughter was a daycare kid. I had to work because the income I was earning far exceeded the cost of putting her in daycare. My family needed that money to, you know, eat and survive, and so I worked. I felt guilty for awhile, mostly as a result of people trying to make me feel like shit about it. Then I realized they didn’t live my life and if they weren’t willing to pay my mortgage and other bills, then they had no business spewing their opinions at me. Also, I LIKED WORKING. I liked earning my own paycheck and not relying on someone else and getting out of the house and engaging with other adults and using my working brain to be something other than someone’s mother. So I let that guilt go. And if you’re in that situation, you need to let it go, too. No one has any business telling you what is best for your family. If they try, politely tell them to shut the fuck up. >>>steps of soapbox<<<

I think letting the mommy guilt about daycare go was the first step in realizing I’ll never be supermom. I was never going to be the mom that devoted her entire life and existence to her kid. And I was actually okay with that. And becoming okay with that meant that I could come to terms with my other perceived shortcomings. 

Accepting my shortcomings as a parent actually made me a better parent. Because now, instead of focusing my energy on the unimportant things, I could focus on the important ones. For instance, I stopped worrying about whether or not my daughter looked cute and trendy all the time. There were, and are, some days when as long as her clothes are clean and free from holes, I don’t care what she wears. So I confess my child will never be a fashionista or catalog model on my watch.  But her clothes fit and are seasonally appropriate and I keep them in good enough condition to pass them on to others. 

Here’s another mommy point to deduct–I have no interest in being part of the PTA. As in, I genuinely don’t care and will not join. It would just frustrate me and take time away from everything else that is exponentially better than joining the PTA. I don’t feel the need to be that involved with her school, and by opting out of that commitment, I have time to help with homework or volunteer when I feel like it instead of being obligated. I can enjoy her little concerts instead of working them and I can preserve my friendships by not harassing people for money. 

I know it’s trendy to do so because clearly the more you share, the more you love your kid, but I do not overshare my kid’s life on social media. I know “good moms” post every little mundane detail about a kid’s life on Facebook or Instagram or whatever, and I do share the big stuff like losing a tooth or the first day of school or the training wheels coming off her bike, but the every day stuff? Nope. I don’t need to share every picture of her being cute or every snarky, crazy comment that comes out of her mouth. There are moments I like to keep for myself. Call me selfish, call me private, say I don’t love her enough to brag about her all the time. Doesn’t matter to me. Her life doesn’t need to play out on social media.

And we already know I’ve given up on having a perfectly clean house. My interior decorating skills are shit, my crafting skills are minimal at best, and I have really given up trying to look at all decent on a daily basis. I figure as long as I get a shower every day, I’ve won. When you take all of this into consideration, not a super mommy do I make.

I’m sure I do some things that people perceive as overachieving. I like to make cute food crafts for her on special occasions. I bake and decorate her birthday cake or cupcakes every year. I plan semi-elaborate birthday parties (her birthday is in December and I refuse to let it get lost in the shuffle of Christmas and Hanukkah). I have her places on time. I remember and stick to commitments (and please don’t give me this “oh, you only have one. It’s so much easier for you” nonsense. My parents had 3 of us and I learned this behavior from somewhere). I cook dinner most nights and I pack her lunch every day. But I don’t consider most of this overachieving. I consider it being a responsible adult. 

We can discuss that if you’d like. 

Here’s the thing.  I know I’m a good mom. I don’t need to live a Pinterest ready or be an overachiever in order to prove it. And neither do you. We’re all just trying to do the best we can. So if you need to hang up your supermom cape, go ahead.

I’ll clear a space for you.

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Linking up with Kathy and Liz

Vodka and Soda
The Hump Day Blog Hop

Don’t judge unless you know

 Alrighty. 

It’s rant time. 

Yesterday I was having a conversation with a friend and, through that conversation, I realized that it gets on my nerves, even more than I thought, when someone condemns a situation or circumstances without knowing all the facts.

Here’s an example. A woman finds out her friend’s husband has been cheating on her. Rather than get divorced, the friend decides to go to therapy and work through the issues so that she and her husband remain married. Divorce is not a word they believe in unless it’s absolutely necessary and maybe this one cheating incident isn’t worth a divorce. The woman gets all up on her high horse, proclaiming that she would never, EVER stay with a man who cheats on her. Once a cheater, always a cheater and he’s just not worth my time and I can do better and all that jazz. It causes fights between her and her friend, to the point that they can no longer continue their friendship.don't judge 2

Here’s a second example. A couple in their late 20s, dating for 9 months, decide to get engaged. A friend who’s been through a broken engagement decides that it’s too fast and starts pontificating that people shouldn’t rush into marriage and gives 4782 reasons why not. The friend makes valid points but the couple just isn’t listening. They don’t want negative opinions. They don’t care about negative opinions. They know what’s best for them, even if it might not look like it to outsiders (note: there are exceptions to this. We can talk about that another day if you’d like).

In both of these scenarios, there are dozens of detractors saying what they’re doing is wrong. They cite their own personal “experience” as the guiding force in their opinions. They don’t have all the facts. And not only that, your situation might not match the one you’re criticizing. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, you don’t know the conversations that have been had, and you don’t have all the information. You have speculation along with snippets. 

It’s difficult to make a fully formed opinion with minimal detail. 

And even if you have personal experience with a situation, you cannot, with any certainty, say what you will or won’t do when faced with it again. Because things change and you can’t possibly predict what other mitigating factors might impact your decision. Married to a cheater? Maybe you have kids now and it’s not so easy to kick their dad out of their lives. Moving in with someone you’ve been dating for 5 months? Maybe there are financial reasons behind it. Have your kids at a grocery store in their pajamas at 9:00 at night? Maybe the babysitter bailed or the milk ran out unexpectedly or a kid is sick and you can’t leave them at home while you get medication.

While it’s easy to say, with certainty, what you’d do in those hypothetical situations, especially if it’s contrary to what you’re witnessing, what you’d actually do is probably very different. Nothing is ever as clear cut as we think it is. You’re not psychic, and you certainly cannot predict your emotions. And, whether you like it or not, emotions, even more than money, guide most of our decisions. Trying to decide if you’re going to stay in a marriage (or even get married) is nothing like buying a couch. Sure, you can vet the prospects, list pros and cons, and you know what’s rational and what’s not, but when it comes down to it, you’re most likely going to let your emotions make the decision. Not a list on a piece of paper or statistics or research or an ill-conceived blog post.

If you can be stoic and rational about every emotionally charged decision, then good for you. I have mad respect for that because, honestly, I can’t. My heart is sometimes more powerful than my head. don't judge

So, unless you know all the factors behind why something looks the way it does, keep your mouth shut. I can’t keep you from thinking and judging (not going to lie, I do it, too, and it’s completely wrong most of the time), but if you have the balls to comment, you best be prepared for pushback and disagreement. Your opinion doesn’t always matter, it isn’t always necessary, and sometimes, even if you disagree, the best thing to do is just support your friend’s decisions.

(Note: this in no way applies to any sort of domestic violence/bullying/serious mental health situation. It is that severe, you best step in and do whatever you can to protect your friend)

 

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P.S. One more thing. We’re so quick to praise those who do what we think they should do; think about how we praise women who walk away from cheaters without a second look. But it is harder, WAY harder, to stay and work through an issue than it is to leave. We should be giving those women their due praise instead of criticizing them so openly.

Friday favorites, volume 16

I am so off my Friday posting game it’s ridiculous. I had a good thing going, posting and linking up with Amanda every Friday but then…I just stopped. I need to get back into a routine which hopefully should happen next week when my daughter goes back to school. We actually had back to school night yesterday, and while I am insanely disappointed she isn’t in class with her friends, I absolutely adore her teacher. She’s going to be a great fit for my kid and I’m excited to see how my daughter will progress in her class.

You know what I am not excited about, though? The horrible sunburn on my back. I took my daughter to the beach and, not realizing just how much time my Casper the ghost colored back would have in the sun, I neglected to put sunscreen on and now I am paying for it. It hurts so much. I couldn’t even wear a bra the other night and I have huge boobs so it’s a not a pretty sight when my girls aren’t locked up. But we have tons of after sun lotion so hopefully I won’t peel since I’ve been using that. I guess the moral of the story is this: use sunscreen even if you think you won’t need it. Because peeling skin is only fun if you can reach it.

And now, it’s Friday Favorites with Amanda.

Friday Favorites

Favorite song

The title of this song is “You Call Me a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing”. It’s by Halestorm. That’s all you need to know before you listen to it.
You Call Me A Bitch Like It’s A Bad Thing by Halestorm on Grooveshark  

Favorite frugal find

NYX makeup. I have become totally hooked on this brand. Not only is it majorly affordable, it’s cruelty free and the choices are amazing. I bought the Adorable palette and some lip gloss, eye liner, and eye shadow primer and I could not be happier. If you’re low on funds, this is a great substitute for Urban Decay (which, by the way, has just released the Naked 2 basics palette. This is on my want list).

Favorite book/TV thing

Book Riot is my new favorite everything. It is heaven for book nerds. You all need this site in your life if you don’t have it already. I even listen to the podcast and I NEVER listen to podcasts. I am picking up one of their recommended books, How To Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer later today and I’m stoked to read it.

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Favorite TV thing is a little harder to pick because summer TV has been crap and fall TV won’t be much better considering almost all the shows I like to watch are ending after the season they have coming up. But I am looking forward to giving that show How to Get Away With Murder a shot. It seems rather intriguing and I adore Viola Davis.

Favorite internet reads

Did high school make you hate reading? Yes? Then you’ll enjoy this post from Cracked, 4 Ways High School Makes You Hate Reading. If you have trouble sleeping then this post might help you establish a better routine. This post on why we have so much attachment to the music we listened to when we were younger (middle/high school, college) was crazy interesting. And finally, you’ve all seen the ALS ice bucket challenge videos going around. Well, there’s another challenge that’s been thrown down. Glenn and Cara O’Neill are trying to raise $2.5 million for their 4 year old daughter Eliza to receive a clinical trial treatment for Sanfillipo Syndrome. They’ve already raised over $1 million, and have the most successful Kickstarter campaign to date, but they need more. So, on the heels of the ice bucket challenge, they’ve issued the #sing2lines challenge. You can read all about it here. Oh, and Cara is/was (not really sure how that works once you graduate. Which is sad considering how long ago I graduated) a sorority sister of mine, so there’s that, too.

Favorite quote

This is what I tell myself on the bad days. It seems glib but it works. 

 
Favorite funnies
Letters don’t belong in math. Ever.
I’ve got no one to impress here.

It’s my way of practicing nonviolence.

Maybe even a whole sleeve, if it’s thin mints.

False hope isn’t funny, pants.

 Hope everyone has a great weekend! See you Monday when I’ll be talking about how I stopped trying to be supermom and I’m glad I did. 

 

12 things I don’t do as a parent

This week’s confessions are inspired by this post from Babble and this post from Amber at Airing My Dirty Laundry.

I will most likely never win Mother of the Year.

Here’s a small sample of why.

I lose my temper, I feed my daughter Chick Fil A probably more than I should, I’ve been known to curse in front of her, and occasionally, I’ll tell her to talk to Siri when I want to stop answering her [...] Continue Reading…

5 reasons to enjoy Mondays

In an effort to rewire the way I approach parts of my life, and taking a cue from some of the suggestions in my cousin’s book, I have decided to stop hating Mondays. Well, fine, if I’m being honest, I don’t know that it’s entirely possible to fully stop hating Monday, but I’m also choosing to think about the parts of Monday that don’t suck.

It’s not a perfect system but it seems to be [...] Continue Reading…