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Friday, May 18, 2012

Am I WHAT enough?

Every time I am at the grocery store I find myself face to face with Time Magazine asking me if I am "mom enough". I am chasing Jack and Olivia through the candy check out, praying for a non trainee with a master register technique and yet I am confronted with the thought - well am I? Why because I don't sleep with them? Well I do but that's because they crawl into my bed like ninjas and I can't always feel them until I am riding the edge of the mattress with no blankets. Because I don't nurse them until their braces interfere with the latch on? Because I don't wear them until they start 3rd grade? Are you serious? THAT'S what makes me mom enough? Do I need this? Do my sister moms need the stress of being asked if we are mom enough? The ones juggling to put food on the table and still have the energy to read If You Give a Pig a Pancake for the 10th time? The ones who power through a Gymboree class and smile a lot because wine night is coming? Swim lessons? Pediatricians? Wegmans on a SUNDAY? Do I need another reason to feel insecure about my mothering? No, I don't. And especially from some 20 something in skinny jeans exploiting the very child she claims to pioneer the parenting trails for. After nearly 17 years at this I refuse to allow myself to be manipulated into thinking if I chew their food and wear them, they will feel more embraced. Embraced by what? What about confidence? What about personal development? What about a sense of appropriate DEtachment? What about me getting a fucking break in my bed? I have never missed a swim meet, a game, a choral concert or a flu; never a moment I didn't pride myself on being there for me and for them. I stay at home by choice and yeah, it kicks my ass at times - I trade in brain cells for chuck e cheese tokens but I remain without regret until now...Time Magazine begs the question - am I mom enough because my children are not (still) dangling from my breast. Well y'know what? I am BUSY. I am busy raising adults. I am being training and negotiating, rewarding and molding, yelling (okay well yeah there's that) and planning and what I don't need is another reason to feel like a failure. What I LOVE about the women I have in my life is that they are ALL busting their ass, loving their kids and supporting each other and none of us ask each other if we are mom enough because we are. So to the Time Cover Girl. Shut up and pray Google takes a dump before your kid enters middle school and those images are there to "embrace" him. That is all.

1 comment:

  1. I have a bunch of these kinds of moms in my practice who breastfeed for years, co-sleep, homeschool, eat organic, grow their own gardens, stay at home full-time, and and and. And I notice a few things about them.

    One thing I see happening are very happy, healthy and balanced families. The other thing I see are women who are very exhausted because they are so busy looking at the trees that they miss out on the landscape of the forest. And you know what? They are just like moms who do none of the things that they are up to.

    One of my favorite parenting books is Secrets of the Baby Whisperer written by Stacey Hogg (obm)who was a professional British Nanny. One of the reasons I love her book so much is because of her philosophy which is this...

    A baby, even a newborn, must be taught that he/she is a very important part of a family system but not the center of it. She also talks about the necessity of teaching a baby how to soothe himself so that he will become a lifelong good sleeper and secure in his place in the world in general. She stresses the importance of a mother's self-care all the time.

    I believe that if all of these things are satisfied to the best of our ability that the specific method of parenting is a fairly minor matter.