There are hundreds of topics to be written about. Endless opportunities for conversations about the journey of motherhood. Yet my mind doesn’t want to let go of a comment that came after last weeks blog. It was basically tips on how to keep my sanity/self whilst being home raising my child. I believe it was posted with the best of intentions. It was not mean or malicious. It was a comment filled with concern. Dare I say, worry. It was another mother being blatantly honest. But it left me wanting to defend my writing, my actions, my choices. And then I took a breath.
After my initial reaction of wanting to announce to the world that A, “I’m not drinking alcohol during the day with my 11 month old!!!” And B, “Sometimes I add dark humor to my writing to make it more entertaining because I think it’s funny!!” I sat back and realized this woman was not only compassionate, but she was right. A woman I don’t know, who reads my blog, was sending me a huge hug over the internet. She was sending me support. It was everything I say is missing in our modern day Motherhood Madness. And my initial reaction was defense. Silly me.
Now I stand by the notion that every one of our journeys is, indeed, our own. That all our circumstances are individual. That every child is unique and brings different circumstances and challenges to the table. But we must remember, there is a big difference between bashing and constructive criticism. What is the idea? It takes a village? Well, when did that just become a catch phrase and not an actual thing we engage in?
I remember growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. Neighborhood parents would actually parent. And ones who didn’t or who weren’t right there, had no issues with other parents jumping in. It was more of a collective effort. In today’s world if you correct another person’s child, or admonish them for bad behavior, you likely have a disgruntled parent telling you to mind your own business. Yet, a common theme among Moms is the feeling of isolation. But when someone offers help, we get defensive. As if someone thinks we aren’t capable. That we aren’t doing enough. But the truth of the matter is, in many cases, it is our own self criticism that makes us defensive. I know in my case it was.
Shouldn’t we be grateful someone else is watching out for our children? Watching out for our well being, as a mother? It’s complete b.s. when people say “I don’t want to get involved.” Or “It’s not my business.” We are a culture of peeping toms watching everyone’s business on Facebook, YouTube, and every other form of social media. But we do it in the privacy of our home, or on our cel phones. It lets us peer in, and often judge from a distance. But let’s own the fact that we are interested, even (oh my gosh!) involved. How often do you read a post or share a story on Facebook that touches you for real? That makes you feel something? For real? That’s involvement. Scary that today’s “involvement” can be so removed.
Anyway, I just wanted to thank this Mom. For actually caring. For trying to share some tools to help me succeed. After all, I did ask for help! Why was I so surprised someone would actually offer it? I will keep her advice. And be grateful. It was not only helpful to me, but a ray of light in these dark times of the Mommy Wars. There is hope that this era of judgement may someday become a thing of the past. There is hope that the “village” will actually lend you a hand on this journey, and not just Tweet about you from afar.
Until next time, I’m gonna keep on keepin on…and lighten up on myself a bit. Cause I have to be there for O…happy, fit, and rested. A friend gave me that piece of advice. 🙂