My dear friend R has really blessed my life lately. She sent me the link to a fantastic blog basically encouraging women to stop beating themselves up if the opt for an epidural during delivery or, Heaven forbid, the ‘tragic’ C-section. I have been asking my mommy friends about their birth stories and we range on all areas of the spectrum. With K I was induced and had an epidural though my plan was for a natural birth. I made it to 4 cm before demanding a needle in my back. My plan for #2 (no I’m not pregnant) is to attempt the natural route again and see where that takes me. What I’ve realized, however, is that in this crazy world of high school mommy-isms as I like to call it, we’re all sized up by how well we performed in labor.
I was blessed to meet a great group of moms in a church group over a year ago and am proud to have them as my closest gal pals all these months later. We’ve gotten together once, twice, three times a week for the past year and are intentional with our parenting, spouses, and each other’s life in general. We cheer each other on and seek to point out areas of growth. One think I’m proud to say we don’t do is judge. One of my equally laid back mama’s, A, has an extremely non-helicoptor-mama style to her parenting and we gel very much in our styles. Love that lady. Yet there are others of us who are probably a little better at parenting than I am that look to prevent natural consequences for their toddler’s behaviors. Our styles are different but our love for Christ is all the same and for that I am thankful.
Unfortunately high school continues way past graduation. As I’ve mentioned several times before the judgement for how you birth, parent, raise, dress, and school your children is outstanding. I don’t understand why the level of competition on the volleyball court or soccer field had to transfer to adult hood. Is it just me or was high school a complete waste of time? Were the hormones and psycho-materialistic girls (and guys) just a little overwhelming? Was anyone else stoked to not have to go back? I can’t speak so poorly of my college experience as KU is basically the best thing since sliced bread and the competition wasn’t nearly as fierce. Unless you count drinking games. And I’m not proud of that but I can’t very well sit here and tell you I was an angel during my collegiate years. I screwed up more times than I can remember yet don’t remember near the judgment from my peers as is subliminally placed on other mommy blogs, Facebook pages, and conversations held just loudly enough for you to know that your girlfriend’s kid is being talked about.
Some kiddo’s are biters. Others hit. Many more climb on your furniture and my kid is one who has more energy than a darn jumping bean but why do we always glare at the parent’s as if they’re pressing the “bite that kid now” button? Obviously you need to teach your little one manners and correctly and sternly discipline outright disobedience and harming others but as a general rule can’t we just give others the benefit of the doubt that they’re just as off put by their kid’s uncontrollable behavior as you are? It’s pretty far fetched to assume that any mom want’s to be “that mom” or have their kid be “that kid” that no one wants to be around. We’re all relatively new at this…or maybe you’re not. The sooner we can all jump on the bandwagon and stop pretending that God put us here to be mommy police of all the women the sooner we’ll be having authentic relationships instead of meeting up for coffee and an afternoon at Nieman’s. Or if you’re my friend, meeting up for a latte I made at my house and then going to the Outlets or Target.
Some of the pressure for me is self imposed. How many times I wish I had her life, or her body, or her clothes, or her house is probably a little absurd. I have to keep mailing clothes to my teenage cousins and sadly realize I’ll never fit into many of them again. I have to remind myself that the body I have, the life I’ve been blessed with, and the home I’ve been entrusted with is all from the Lord above. How I take care of these blessings and use my talents is what’s important and by golly this world of talking about how things don’t matter is going to end up in flames. I didn’t have some thriving career banking six figures for several years before I stayed home with K. Heck, in the height of my “career” I wasn’t even making $32,000 but to me it felt like a million bucks. I was PROUD of that social work job. I was great at it. I loved thinking I was making a difference in some bull headed teenager’s life and likely some years down they road one or two may agree.
The mommy competition I place on myself is a bit pathetic. Epidural or not, I brought my child into this world and I did a darn good job of it. Being bogged down by feeling like you’re on the “have not” end of the “haves and have not’s” is not worth it. We all raise our voices a little louder than we ought sometimes. It’s nice to hear that other mom’s aren’t perfect. We’re not justified in our sinful responses to our children or other women but there’s great comfort in knowing I’m not alone. Eventually my mommy skin will be thick enough to wave a big “you go away and leave me alone” at my desire to compare myself to others or snap back at a particularly catty mom who
has it all together is struggling too. Until then K will cry herself to sleep at nap time and my stretch marks will still remind me that I should have probably drove past Taco Bell instead of stopping for a Meximelt twice a week.