I am getting really worn out by the mommy blogs. It seems that every mother of small children out there has a mommy blog. Now some of these are pure fun. They regale you with the ins and outs of mothering small monsters and scheming cherubs and have at least some of us shaking our head in a knowing way and giggling that we remember that well.
I guess I could write blogs like that but I am not a mommy anymore. I am a mom... and a grandmother, and my children are of the age that any mention of their shenanigans just might saddle them with an extra large dose of blog-induced shame. Perhaps one day I will present my offspring with a written waiver, allowing me to disclose what little I can remember of my early parenting days and holding me harmless for any stain to their reputation. But I'm not that brave....yet.
Then there are the other blogs. The teachy blogs. The preachy blogs. The sappy, get-your-spiritual-lesson-here blogs. I can't read those. They make me feel guilty (most things do, by the way). I could never be one of those moms.
Sometimes these blogs tell us what is most crucial as a parent and sometimes the bar gets raised higher and higher. Oh, this stuff all sounds so good on paper but in reality may be much more difficult to pull off, at least for some of us.
Some people just seem to be natural mothers. They are organized and disciplined and love to do things with paper plates and glitter (shudder). These are the moms that are not fazed by juggling multiple small children and keeping chaos at bay. I can only assume that when God handed out this Child Raising Skill Kit, I was in the bathroom.
Last week a friend linked to a a mommy blog article that actually sounded very good (on paper). It was all about teaching your kids that they can take you at your word so that they learn how to keep their word or something like that. I read the blog poster's bio and she is actually a mother of four, though it did not say what ages her four are.
I guess what got to me is that this blog, like most, seem to imply that so much of our kids' moral and spiritual development is dependent on what we do or don't do, even in the early years. Bummer!
Perhaps I am the only one who struggled here but this "make your yes be yes and your no be no" principle can be really hard to pull off. I remember when mine were little and the buzzword in parenting was consistency. You must be consistent with your children or they will grow up deranged and drooling. That was all good and well with my first, or at least I could make a B grade in the consistency department, but when I got pregnant with #2 it all went out the window.
Will someone please tell me how you are supposed to be consistent when you are puking your guts out and your 14 month old is pouring out the box of Cheerios or taking apart the television? The "no, don't do that" suddenly becomes a "here, honey, enjoy yourself."
And those rules on consequences to behavior! "Never tell a kid they will have a consequence and not give it to them." That is fine and dandy if you can actually remember. All I know is that by the time I got home from Wal-Mart or the grocery store or whatever place I braved with my brood, any memory of the hair pulling or the karate chop to the sister's solar plexus (which requires a consequence in the parenting books) was replaced by the temper tantrum or the toddler who peed in the cereal aisle. Consequences? Who? What? Just give me some Calgon and a glass of wine. I was happy to have made it home alive.
I am not saying that parents shouldn't be parents. I am just saying that it is **** hard to be a parent and all these blogs of should this and do that can be overwhelming and lead one to believe that this level of parenting can actually be achieved. And maybe it can, for some.
But what I have learned over my almost 23 years as a mother is that you fail more than you succeed. You are weak more than you are strong. You mess up more than you get it right. And that is where you meet Jesus. I know God will have mercy on my children, for he has had mercy on me.
I remember that a lot of parenting was watching the kids roar around on Big Wheels and eating the crusts cut from their peanut butter sandwiches. I remember when our kids started speaking in sentences and paragraphs and I thought to myself, "Whew! Now we can bond!" I did love the nursing baby/mama love very much, too. Oh, for the GREAT grace of the Savior, for marriage and parenting. I'm glad I found your blog (via MK) and I'm putting you on my blog roll.
Hi, just found your blog from your recent "letter to young mothers" and have been reading older items. I'm a mom of a beautiful 18 yr old girl and very handsome 15 yr old son... and I am a newly wed, to a wonderful man who loves those two as his own, and puts them before himself so much! He has never had children, and well, the topic keeps coming up. Anyway, your last paragraph is what I NEEDED to see! I have probably 'messed up' by most peoples standards more than I have done good, but I have also put God in control... so if He blesses us with another, I KNOW for a FACT I will mess up, but HE will still be in control. Thank you for your honesty and openness!ReplyDelete