Thursday, May 10, 2012

dear time magazine

Enough already.

You know what? I am enough. I am a good enough mother. Actually, I am a damn good mother (not all of the time, but pretty often). And, above all, I am tired of the constant messaging about how I am supposed to doubt myself, am supposed to feel horribly guilty when I leave my kid at daycare (I don't), am supposed to spend every single minute of my day bemoaning what a terrible mother I am (I don't), and that only women who do these things - who doubt themselves every step of the way - are really, truly, good mothers.

I realize that I am betraying two of my key principles by even writing this post: one, never criticize things you haven't read; and two, never reward stupid behavior by giving it undue attention. You got me on both counts.

No, I haven't read the article. I don't actually care what it says (from the one synopsis I read, it's about attachment parenting). I care that the headline is meant to do exactly what it does: get attention about how every parenting style under the sun is still not good enough. (My first problem here is that I have no discernible parenting "style," except for my guiding principle that everybody should be alive at the end of the day, myself included.)

I'm pretty much a of mix of stuff-I-wanted-to-do-before-the-kid-showed-up and stuff-I-ended-up-doing-because-things-don't-always-go-the-way-you-think. I breastfeed until she was 17 months and then she decided to quit. It broke my heart a little bit, but I'll get over it. She sleeps in her own bed and always has, although said bed was next to ours for the first six months.

We let her cry it out. It took one night and she has slept through the night ever since (although it took us 14 months to sleep past 5:30am). (That sucked.) She eats a lot of organic food. On the other hand, tonight we went out to dinner and she ate radioactively orange mac and cheese. With apples.

We read a lot of books and we weren't going to watch any TV until she was 2, but then I took her on an airplane and she watched Elmo and now she is completely, totally, one hundred percent in love with him. So we watched an Elmo video on Monday. Sue me.

She goes to daycare. She loves it. Sometimes she cries when I leave but I know she is fine after 2 minutes and when I come to pick her up, she is so happy playing that sometimes she hates to leave. I don't feel badly about giving her an opportunity to play with other kids all day long and have other adults in her life who love her and think she is the best thing since string cheese. Nothing wrong there.

She hugs me with ferocity, wrapping her arms around my neck and snuggling into my shoulder and when she wakes up, she says, "mama? dada?" sweetly and we know, for sure, that whatever stupid-ass mistakes we make on a daily basis (and there are quite a few), we are doing okay at the whole parenting thing. Certainly we will screw her up, but that comes with the territory. Hopefully we'll give her just enough dysfunction to make her funny, as I saw on some pin.terest thing the other day.

I'm not going to buy your magazine because I'm not giving you my money. Because I'm betting my money on this instead: I am a good mother. I know a whole lot of good mothers.

And we are sick of you trying to make us feel otherwise.

8 comments:

  1. Here Here! Totally pro "pick-your-own-parenting-style" here! I have not read the article either but some women at my kid's daycare told me the woman on the cover nursed until she was 6 and remembers how comforting it was so she is doing the same. Fine...but please don't tell me your kid pulls up a stool and you just whip it out and let him have at it whenever he wants...that doesn't seem very "comforting" to me. Wouldn't a better posture be to snuggle and sit together. The cover was meant to be provocative and ignite people...and boy did it...My Facebook exploded and my BBC birthboard went nuts. I just felt sorry for the poor kid who will have the picture shown all over his highschool in 10 years. What kind of parenting style is that?
    Karaleen

    ReplyDelete
  2. True that! 100% agree!! Didn't read it, not buying it, and frankly don't care! BECAUSE, we are all doing the best we can, and we don't need to feel guilty about anything! =)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been following your blog for some time now and find you to be so inspiring. You have a gift for words, and your posts often leave me both laughing and crying. I'm honored to pass along a Liebster Blog award to you; thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete