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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

ParentHOUDE...

While dealing with my recent insomnia, I have been reading a lot of really "helpful" magazines.  The most recent was a special edition to my Real Simple subscription, Real Simple "Family" Addition.  I SO enjoy reading about over-achieving parents, mothers-of-the-year and 10 ways to get vomit out of the carpet. (in this case, it was my own, after reading some of these articles.)

Like we need more written proof that we are not feeding our children the right foods, don't have enough play dates scheduled and that we don't know how to make Moroccan chicken and quinoa.  I'm exhausted!  I can't keep up with the laundry, never mind the Jones'.  How am I supposed to compete with this stuff? 

There was an article about "how to keep your sanity in your over scheduled life."  Note to self: stop doing everything!  A mother of 4 boys lets us into her tidy, post-it-note reminder, brown-bagged lunch existence. Her 3 darling boys play or are committed to at least 2 activities each and her life is spent driving them to & from sports, music lessons, Chinese jump rope training & cupcake decorating 101.  Is she insane? She says it is a challenge but worth it when she sees the smiles on their faces.  (Unfortunately, she hasn't smiled since 2006)

Now the "modern" mom can handle all these tasks with the greatest of ease. I mean, this is why we have children, right? (feeling the sarcasm there??) To put aside our own lives and tend to their every whim, want & desire until...when? Eternity?  This is NOT what I signed up for.  It is an interesting topic.   Where do our wants, needs & desires fit into this endless parade of obligation? (Once again, that Catholic guilt is taking over here while I write). What kind of selfish person has children & doesn't sign them up for soccer, Viola & conversational Japanese classes at 4 years old?  ME!  (Oops, I didn't get that memo.)

Now, I am not saying that children do not need activities in their lives.  Of course they do! What I am saying is when is enough..too much?  Sports & activities are no longer limited to the weekdays.  They have now taken over weeknights & weekends as well. I mean, even God rested on the 7th day, right?  There is no day of rest.  No wonder the family unit has deteriorated.  Family dinner?  Yeah, right.  You have to make 3 different meals to coincide with everyones schedule.


It is tough enough to just be a parent.  Now add in the pressure of being a "good" parent.  What does that mean anyway?  Who decides if you are a good parent? Who are we trying to impress?  I would like to say that I am not swayed by other mothers to do certain things, but that would be a lie.  I am, just like most of us, concerned with not only the reality but also the perception of my parenting skills.  It sounds juvenile, but its true.  But at the end of the day, it is what it is.  I am not like any other mother.  I am me.  I do things in my life that other parents might consider silly, selfish & irresponsible.  I am not mother of the year, nor do I want to be.  It sucks to endlessly have to second guess yourself.  

So, as I continue to read the 5 different uses for a lemon, all I can think of is squeezing one into a huge glass of vodka and chain smoking in the garage. Thank you for your help, Real Simple, Family Addition!

Guess I won't be featured in the next addition....