When do I find time to read?
Hardly ever, what with writing, editing, parenting, and that one bathroom break I get each day.
But at 2 a.m. when I’m finally able to crawl into bed, there are a few websites I visit before I close my eyes for five hours of fitful sleep.
The pieces I’ve recently found have helped me feel … normal. They’re by parents like me. Their kids are driving them nuts. They’re tired, sometimes irritated, sometimes in need of a break.
If you’re feeling like I am (and I’m sure many of you are), you need to check out these blog posts. You deserve to read something with sentences that don’t involve seeing Spot run or Mr. Brown mooing.
I stumbled across this piece at midnight after a particularly horrendous day. Baby Bird had the public tantrum to end all tantrums. She clawed my face (I actually lost some blood!) after I denied her some graham crackers. I’ve been struggling with my anger toward Mr. T.
Then I found this article and it assured me that, in a few short years, life won’t suck so much.
“(Motherhood is) moving, empowering, and exciting, but it’s also scary, frustrating, and constant. You are always on the clock. The demand for your love and attention is relentless. And new opportunities for failure are materializing daily.
It’s rough. And maybe you don’t want to admit you’re angry yet. It’s probably best you stay focused right now — there’s a lot on your plate.
The good news is, about four years from now, you’ll realize how angry you were because suddenly you’re not so mad anymore. It’s amazing.”
The words of encouragement I needed JUST when I needed them.
“We all should be the best we can be. We should be the kind of parent that raises compassionate, educated, healthy human beings. Whether you live in a shack in the woods with no electricity or the penthouse suite on the 25th floor, just be the best parent you can be.”
That little gem is from Eric (a.k.a. stomperdad) over at All in A Dad’s Work.
Glorious in its simplicity, isn’t it?
I know I’m not alone in feeling like I need to be Super Mom. I stay home with Baby Bird and I’m smart and capable, so there’s no reason I shouldn’t have her reading, writing, and counting to 1,000 …
… Except that’s not how life works. My child will grow and develop as she’s meant to, and no amount of pressure, hovering, or pushing masked as educating will change that.
Instead of trying to raise the youngest member of MENSA, I need to focus on being the best mom I can be and helping her become a compassionate, confident, competent woman.
Screw what the woman next door is doing. I’ll do my best, and everything else will fall into place.
I really needed that passage from Eric to get me refocused.
I can be a judgmental b!+¢# sometimes, especially to the people I love the most (sigh), but I have not and will not ever judge another woman for how she moms.
This week, though, I had a mom judge me. She tried to call me out for “coddling” my daughter. And by coddling she was referring to the things I do to try to keep my child safe.
I was pissed about being judged, so I refused to approve her comment. (I know that was kinda passive-aggressive, but the alternative was to approve her comment, tell her off in reply, and hope I didn’t turn off you sensible readers.)
Who has time to judge other parents? I barely know what I’m doing over here, so who am I to question your parenting decisions?
That’s why I connected with this piece on Wonderoak. Jess, like all of us, has 2.38 million things happening in her life, and those things leave little time for judging other moms.
“I’m eleven years in and I am now more certain than ever that there isn’t ‘one way’ to do this well. I’m just trying to figure out how to parent my own kids and how many margaritas I can have without getting a hangover.”
Good for you, Jessica. And kudos to those of us who are too busy living our lives to worry about the next woman’s.
Before I go, though …
Dear commenter whom I previously ignored:
Unless I’ve asked you to pay for a toilet lock, oven safety switch, or piece of $2 pipe insulation, you shouldn’t have anything to say about how I keep MY CHILD safe.
If you want you kid to touch the stove, by all means. Play in the toilet water — have at it! Eat that Motrin at the bottom of your purse — I’ll pray and hope for the best outcome for both of you.
I fill my blog posts with SUGGESTIONS, not DIRECTIONS. Every other reader recognizes that.
Bottom line: Chill out and forget about trying to call me out — it’s a fight you can’t win.