Monday, August 12, 2013

On parenting

 The amount of unsolicited advice and annoying things that people post on my Facebook is really starting to get to me.  Add to that my general distaste with having to deal with the public and sometimes even my own family, and I'm just all out crabby.  I don't know why it's so wrong for me to be excited about motherhood or to want people to just say congratulations, this is such an exciting time in your life.  But instead, people try to fill my head with negative thoughts and make me feel the anxiety and fear that I don't want to face when it comes to motherhood.

Last week someone posted on my Facebook about how my house will never be clean again, my kids socks will never match, I will apparently wear wrinkled clothes and not shower for days which will go over well at work, my walls/furniture will be ruined and I will never do anything that doesn't involve my children.  I will also need a lot of wine and trashy TV to get me through all of this since I won't be sleeping much for the next 18 years.  Needless to say, I hid it from my wall.  I've seen similar posts regarding the TV being a good babysitter, how cooking dinner is next to impossible and that worrying about keeping a nice home means that you don't want to spend time with your children.

The reality is, each parent is different.  Not everyone lives in chaos and I know that I did not grow up that way.  My mom never left the house in sweats let alone, unshowered and looking like a zombie/mombie.  Our house was never a disaster area, we knew well enough not to ruin things because money was tight, our socks always matched, our clothes were cleaned and often ironed and my mom cooked dinner nearly every night.  My parents even had a life outside of being parents, which is also unheard of these days!  My dad was in a band, my mom did things with her friends, they went on dates and had a babysitter watch us for the evening, they even sang at church almost every Sunday and had one of the older kids, a daughter of someone else in the folk group, watch us during mass.  I don't ever recall the backseat of our car being filled with spilled food and drinks or stinking with rotten stuff we crammed under the seat.  That was not my childhood and it's certainly not the life I want to create for my now growing family.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I know for sure that things will be the way I hope.  I know there will be messes and that things won't always be perfect, but I don't want to start things off saying that it's okay to not care.  I'm fine with going with the flow but I'm also sick of everyone telling me how my life will be in just 5 months.  No one knows what goes on in my house behind closed doors and most of the time it's none of their business.  If I could tell all of these people something it would be the following:

I plan to raise my child to have good manners.  I was raised that it's not okay to destroy things or to make messes and expect someone else to clean them up.

I do have to go back to work so that means I will still take showers and iron my clothes.

It might be a little work, but I plan to feed my child nutritious meals most nights of the week and not allow them to be picky and fussy about the meals served in our home.

I don't want my house, my very tiny house, to look like a disaster zone.  My child will know the value of hard work and keeping a tidy room and house just like I was taught many years ago.

I will be a parent and a wife above all other things, but I still want to maintain the relationships I have outside of my home.  I will hire a babysitter to spend an evening with my friends and that will be okay for me.
My child will learn to love the outdoors and TV will be a special treat, not a babysitting tool.  They won't start playing video games in kindergarten and they certainly won't have a cell phone until they are in high school.

The way I choose to parent may not be the most PC these days, but we all have the freedom to make our own decisions.  I'm sure there will be people that I have offended with this post, but like I have said several times, everyone's situation is different and I know that there is no such thing as a perfect parent.  If everyone parented the same, then there wouldn't be so many different people in the world now would there?!


Stephanie said...

I hear ya. I think people mean well when they try to give advice, but it really can be over the top. Just ignore them! Don't put pressure on yourself to be anything other than what you want to be as a mother, which your instinct will know deep down inside.

jen said...

Ugh... I feel you. Someone posted something on my wall a couple of months ago that said, "Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, dirty ovens... and happy kids" and that irked me too! I have a orderly, clean home... so does that mean I'm a bad mom for not spending every waking minute with my baby?

Good for you if you want your home to be clean and for you to look put-together! You are going to be an awesome mom!