From Rocky Parenting today, my post on the small gifts friends offer us.
I had a beer Saturday night with one of my best friends, S. S and I met in the hospital birth-prep class we took while we were pregnant with our first babies. Her son is a week younger than N, and has been his friend since birth. We’ve gone together through all of the issues that come with first-time motherhood, and now we’re talking each other through the completely different issues of second-time motherhood.
Last night, S asked me if I ever just cry at night over worry about my kids. My reassurance that I do, frequently, cry with worry over everything involving my kids led to a conversation topic most moms are very familiar with: guilt. S said she she doesn’t think most moms worry like that. I said she need only look at the blogosphere or ask her other mommy friends, and I am positive she will find a huge amount of guilt out there. More than we can possibly carry in diaper bags already overflowing with worry, insecurity, inadequacy and fear. In fact, when I googled “mommy guilt”, it took less than a second to come up with 160,000 results.
So there you go, S, we’re far from alone. Mommy guilt is this thing we all struggle with, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. Is it healthy? Probably not. Is it the norm? Definitely. We spend nights beating ourselves up over the things we should have done, should not have said, should have heard better. The ways we are screwing our kids up for life, be it by treating our second children differently or coddling the first too much. We read book after book about the “right” way to parent, adding with every turn of the page yet another thing we could do better.
This “I could do better” attitude of inadequacy is at the center of guilt. Of mine, at least. I am willing to bet it’s at the center of a lot of mothers’ guilt. How we tell that constant feeling inadequacy to f**k off is beyond me. It’s a level of spiritual work I will strive toward for a long, long time. Probably until the end of my life, when I will look back and hopefully not wonder too long what I could have done better.
Over at Get Born, a post about balancing Mama with Me:
DiscoveriesBlogged by Kayenta
I was driving my 12-yr-old sister to a summer day camp last week, and I asked her what kind of music she likes. Her response was a thoughtful: “Well, I haven’t really discovered that yet, but I’m trying all kinds.” How great, I thought. To be twelve and know you have the absolute freedom and confidence to discover just who you are. Wouldn’t most of us like to be in that place? Trying things out until we discover, yep, this is me! … read more
Blogging today over at get born magazine about being the New Mom at preschool!
Don’t Mind MeBlogged by Kayenta on February 22, 2012
While I could write all day about my anxiety that one of the other children at my son’s preschool will be unkind to him, this post is not about kid-on-kid hostility. This post is about moms. Popular preschool moms, to be specific… read more
I’ll just put it out there: I’m on the market. Looking for that special someone who can fill the void in my days and share laughter with me over my kids. Who gets me and still loves me when I’ve worn sweatpants for two straight weeks. Yes, I’m looking for a mom-mate.
I have this really great best stayhomemom-friend, Megan. She’s everything one could want in a mom-mate: a hysterical, down-to-earth mother of two. Her boys love my boys, and vice versa. She taught me that it was not actually a completely impossible to task to leave the house and have fun with a baby and a toddler, and that playdates are not just for people without lives. And then, she had the nerve to move away to be with her family. Just like that. A punch in the stomach to my social/mommy/emotional life.
I also have this really great best stayhomemom-friend, Jessica (yes, Jessica of the cake pops and babysitting genius). She is also all the things we wish for in mom-friends: funny, supportive, second mother to my kids. Still likes me even when I’m crabby and bitchy. Gave me a venting space twice a week for two years and helps me solve all those every day sahm problems. And then, she had the nerve to not be able to watch N anymore, which resulted in me taking him to preschool and losing my twice-weekly contact with her. This one I had months to get used to, but it was still a punch in the gut.
Now, I’ll fill you in on something. When you have kids, there are about a gazillion things people don’t tell you about how life will change. Likewise, there are about a gazillion things about the life of a stay at home mom that you don’t really think about. Or, at least, that I didn’t really think about. For one, you have to have friends to keep you from going insane. And your friends that you had before you were a mother probably won’t really get you anymore, and your constant obsession with your kids will annoy the hell out of them. And you won’t really get them anymore, either. Then, you’ll have to start whoring yourself out to other mothers in search of a play date. It’s the harsh reality. If you’ve just had a baby and are considering staying home, don’t think it won’t happen to you. It will. Twinkle Babies, Mommy and Me Tumbling, Swimming Lessons…they’re all full of mothers desperate for a connection.
So, as I sit here dwelling on my mom-matelessness and N’s current playmatelessness (another post, soon to come), I propose we all band together and come up with a Match.com for stay-home moms. Like all the single adults out there, it’s tough to meet people at places like bars and parties because we’re too busy cleaning up puke and soothing angry, teething babies to go to places like bars and parties. But obviously we’re all online, right? I mean, we’re blogging, facebooking, pinning. Why not matching, too?
I’ll get right to work on my profile. Should be pretty fancy. I mean, I own sweats in at least half the rainbow of colors. And I can change a diaper with one hand while texting snarky anecdotes about my kids with the other. On MommyMatch.com, those will be the types of highly sought-after qualities we’ll list. Who’s first in line?!