February 24, 2010

If you stare long enough, you begin to realize that
it was just belly-button lint all along.

Regarding my last post that may or may not have touched a nerve, rest assured that I am not lazing about secure in the knowledge that I have got It All Figured Out.  I will spend my lifetime attempting that particular goal.   But I do want to be a better person.  A more efficient communicator.  And I want to show my children how to be true to themselves within relationships without losing sight of who they are.  Something at which I fail spectacularly and quite often.

The primary point of the post was for me to nail a public notice to a tree declaring who I am and for what I would like to stand along with a free-standing invitation to unsubscribe, unfollow, unfriend if you are so inclined.  I do get tired of mincing words or obsessively proofreading comments, emails and posts in the vain effort to not offend folks.  Because I always manage to offend.  Always.

My friend Jackie and I were talking about this last Friday.  And one of the things that I love about Jackie is that she and I can have a discussion, disagree heartily, then continue on with our friendship.  No drama, no hurt feelings.  Just two intelligent, educated women having a conversation without an end goal of persuasion or victory.

Jackie pointed me to a recent post on The Velveteen Mind and as Megan puts it so eloquently and aptly:
I know I’m a good mom and I make informed decisions.  They may not be your decisions, but fortunately for you, I’m not your mom.
I took the quote out of context because I did not feel it needed a context.  Babycakes, those words can stand on their own.  And I believe what particularly struck me about Megan's quote was the "informed" part.  I try very hard to inform myself on a daily basis.  This includes,  books, magazines, the Internet and a bit of radio.  Sometimes TV, but I primarily use the TV for entertainment. And my friends. I love coaxing opinions out of folks (currently, I am pressing people for their thoughts on allowances - how to dispense and how much.)  I have said it here before, I do not know a single "bad" mom.  Not a one.  Oh sure, I read about them in the news but in my personal life I am quite fortunate to be surrounded by positive role models.

Listen up, folks. We could all cobble together our own little Momifestos like I did in that last post.  A Momifesto based upon each of our unique perspectives, experiences and desires for our children. But in the end, we can all carry Megan's words as our personal Momtras.  Because those are words to live by.

Anyway, I think I have explored enough the soft, round lump that is my belly and will be returning to pithy posting shortly.  Bear with me and thank you for your patience as I expose the frozen underbelly of my icy heart while I work through these weird "living the best life" thoughts rambling aimlessly in my brain.  Since my FIL's death, I have had to think long and hard about what I would like my children to be thinking on my own grave.


Cara said...

I wonder if these conversations about parenting would be different if more people did know 'bad parents.' I work in a Guardian ad Litem program, where we provide representation for kids who have been abused, abandoned and neglected. We do know bad parents. I notice that my colleagues are much less judgmental about one another's parenting choices than in some other areas of my life. We know first hand just where the line between 'another way of doing things' and 'an actual problem' is drawn.

Anonymous said...

I recently had a similar conversation with a friend. If you compare yourself to everyone other person you know, you'll go nuts, if you are happy and the kids are happy, then so what if they watch tv. If you are happy and they are happy so what if you buy non organic food. It is so easy to get caught up in all the things you are doing wrong (in your mind) and it is so easy for others to jump on those things. It really is harder to focus on the positive things that go on....

Chocolate Covered Susan said...

Cara is exactly right. When you do see bad parents (unfortunately some of the fourth graders I taught had bad parents), it makes all of the things we tend to obsess about so much less important. Whether you're a mom who lets your kids cry it out or nurses them to sleep is so insignificant compared to a mom who's not even there at bedtime because she has a drug problem and is "out partying" every night until late. As long as you love your kids, do your best for them, are there for them when they need you, and spend time with them they will be just fine. The details of how you do that are small stuff in the big picture.

Fawn. Like a deer. said...

As someone who has more than once had her parenting skills called into question (by exes trying to get custody), I couldn't agree more. Just because I don't do it like you do it doesn't mean I'm doing it wrong. My kids are happy, healthy, well-adjusted, and probably some of the most polite and well-mannered kids you'll ever meet. I've seen bad parents, but I think more than that I've just seen diversity in parenting, and how boring would the world be if we all did everything the same way? Hello Stepford World.