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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Embracing the “Good Enough" & Day 110. 255 Days Left

After years of planning, conceiving and raising children, I realize that I forgot a little something along the way... me.

When we conceived our first I was ecstatic, certain that everything was going to be, well.... PERFECT. The wheels started to fall off of the bus when I was pregnant, I was sick, I was working, fat, a little bit nuts and every bit exhausted. NOT the magical picture that had been painted to me by friends, family and society.

Once our daughter, Addison, arrived things only got worse. I couldn't breastfeed, she didn't sleep, she had colic, I was a little depressed- feeling alone and isolated and it was affecting both me and the hubby. I felt like a failure. This mom thing was a lot more difficult than anyone let on. The hubby was amazing every step of the way and we managed to get through- together.

Then along came Jackson, a "happy coincidence." The pregnancy plunged me back into the depths of prenatal depression and high risk prenatal care (precaution after my pregnancy with Addison). I am not sure that my body is meant for pregnancy and I know my marriage sure isn't!

Every day that went by after Jackson was born was a lesson in coping! I had so many struggles along the way and most of those struggles were and are tied to my need to be the "perfect" mother... what society tells me to be: You have to breastfeed (which I didn’t do with either Addison or Jackson *gasps*) because obviously formula is purely toxic, you simply MUST NOT co-sleep (which I did and continue to do even now that Addison is almost four and Jackson two), don't dare fulfill YOURSELF it is all about the kids, eat all organic, put your kids in preschool, don't put your kids in preschool, let them graze all day, No, no feed them three meals and two snacks.... the list goes on and on…

My life as a stay-at-home mom has took on a life of its own… about the kids and for the kids. ALL. DAY. EVERY. DAY. Some days are exhausting, others are amazing but the perfect day never really existed.

After 3 ½ years of parenting and two pregnancies, I have decided to make up my own mind and trust my own instinct. I am a mom that let's my kids watch TV sometimes so I can get some time to myself blogging or searching the internet, I feed them chocolate on toast for breakfast some days and I have learned that the term "survival of the fittest" was meant to apply directly to the parent-child relationship (unfortunately I am not sure who is outsmarting who)! I don't always make my kids excuse themselves from the table or clean-up their room after playing. I let them resolve battle out their fights on their own (for the most part) ... I know I am not perfect; my kids are certainly not- they are loud, a little too energetic and can demonstrate the perfect pint sized meltdown on cue! But we love each other; we dance and sing together almost every day. We have tickle wars, we talk all at the same time when we get excited and we hug and kiss a million times a day.

I yell (more than that I would like), and I can be selfish. But my kids are well adjusted, well mannered, social, independent and brilliant... so I am taking the reigns and bucking against the "should" of society… I will parent on my own terms AND take care of myself too. I will choose to step down from my high horse in preference of an average height horse. I will not judge the parents of the crying baby, the melt-down throwing toddler, the bratty child or the wild teenager, because I have either been there or will be there soon enough.

I am encouraging honesty about the highs and lows of parenting and hoping to create a more realistic version of parenting... not perfection, but "good enough" parenting.


Day 110

Evening in the park


Rosann said...

I love your honesty. And then I wondered while I was reading this, "has she been looking through the window at me while I'm parenting?" cause my goodness, you sound a lot like me!

I lost my drive for totally perfect parenting when child number 2 arrived. Now I still try to be great as a mom, but I realize that if I don't take care of my own needs too, I only end up failing at everything...especially at being a mom.

Cheers to a fellow "yelling" mom. :)


Life by Cynthia said...

I LOVE this post. I am not a fan of anyone dictating that there is a "right" way or a "wrong" way. If it works for you and your family then that should be the way. My husband and I acted on instinct (and a bit of research here and there) - but in the end we relied on our "gut" when it came to being new parents. For the first 3 months we insisted on going at it alone (until I went back to work). No help from our moms or sisters. Just hubby and me. We did things our way and it works. It's good enough, and good enough is perfect for us. We have a happy, healthy, smart little boy. Luckily both of our Moms weren't offended that we wanted to do it our way.

JennyBean said...

I totally relate to this post. And, gracious, you reminded me of the COLIC. Colic is very contagious. I caught it from my baby.

Love the pictures!