I read a lot of blogs. I used to have my own blog but since I became a working mother, I only guest star on my husband’s blog. I am on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
I get bombarded by “PERFECT PARENT” blogs all the time touting suggestions on how to save time when making meals, how to save money on groceries, how to make your own clothing, grow your own food, save on your energy bill… You would think mothering was a study in living off the grid!
HOWEVER, I also read blogs from people who are “REAL PARENTS.” These people also apparently read a lot of blogs and somehow, someone elses’ success at grocery shopping or feeding their child only organic food or homeschooling the next Einstein makes these REAL PARENTS feel inferior. They write with a bit of a chip on their should confessing to yelling at their children and locking themselves in the bathroom to cry over a failure to be the PERFECT PARENT. The PERFECT PARENT will then retort with an angry tirade about how the REAL PARENT should be more grateful to even have their little brats at all!
Let me just say something about all of this. I love the REAL PARENT. I also have the feeling that if I don’t become an alcoholic, I won’t make it to my kids graduation day alive. I have been known to stand with the refrigerator door open and spray whipped cream into my mouth as a coping mechanism for whining.
I also love THE PERFECT PARENT. I love reading about some parents epiphany about how to make a single shopping trip last all month, how to make pillowcase dresses in 20 minutes, and look at pictures of smiling kids happy and healthy in a loving home.
I get both sides of the aisle because I don’t think there is an aisle. Yes, there are angry parents who will tell you that if one grain of sugar passes the lips of your child’s mouth, all their teeth will fall out and you will be responsible for their autism if there is mercury within a 500 mile radius of your home. There are people who never wanted children and had them by accident or because of social pressure and now don’t know why they ever did. However, this is not the norm.
We are all excited when we (even if it’s just one month out of the year) are able to do stuff with our family that makes something in our life easier or better. We all revel in the acclaim we receive when someone says, “Wow! How did you do that?” We want to share our knowledge and learning with other parents who are as desperate as we are to make life just a little bit smoother. Isn’t it nice to take that one extra step one day we have more energy so we can rest on one step the next day when our child decides she is going pee every 5 minutes ALL DAY LONG?
We also all have those times when we need to take a time out and say, “OK, what the hell is that thing in the highchair that just spit my homemade baby food in my face? SATAN?” And take a bath, and get a babysitter and spend the night in a motel crying and come back a better parent after.
So let’s not hate. Let’s not allow someone sharing something awesome they have discovered make us feel like less of a parent if that particular exciting bit of step-taking doesn’t fit into our life. Let’s not get all up and upset when someone feels like their only outlet for feelings of failure that day as a parent is to confess on a blog or Facebook. Let’s not participate in the freak out! Let’s encourage each other because damn… these kids didn’t come with an instruction book and we all need all the help and encouragement we can get.
AM I RIGHT? Can I get an AMEN?!