Thursday, July 10, 2008

52 reasons: Mommy/Daddy Learning Curve, Ring my bell!

So here's the major one. I have for the longest time been afraid I cannot be a SAHM because it would mean I am giving up too easy on me and the p-man. I remember when I went back to work after my leave to unbaby the Girl Friday and I was so relieved all the teachers went on strike. I had been on the job for about six weeks when I was locked out of work. Thank god, I thought we were collapsing. I was at a loss to understand how others were making families work with two jobs.

Well that strike cost me my job share and then I went from working 60% to 100% so lucky I got pregnant so quick, eh? Delay the problem...

Again it preys on me. Why does it seem so hard for us? Why don't I frame us as making it? I look at the family compact and I'm like... Too much junk food. Losing credibility in relation to child behaviours. Not enough freedom for the kids. Need more time for friends and family. We are too mad. The schedule is making the kids droids. But are we really not good enough?

Don't answer that.

It is a huge pressure for me. I feel that staying at home is some sort of refuge from parenting failure? A safety cushion that absorbs every behaviour error, every moment of mothering edginess, every embarrassing moment of our mommy/daddy learning curve. Well maybe we're not good parents but at least we're present, I'm thinking? You know getting points just for showing up?

This is about as wholly a load of hooey as it is an unshakable worry. We are barely deserving as their parents without the distraction of two jobs. I have said more than once I believe in a tussle over lunchbag duties. I don't want to have to quit my job because we can't do this.

I don't want to be shown up as a couple who is inept too traditional among our progressive super co-parenting bretheren. I want to believe that we are up to this sort of family life. The voice is there suggesting that I am not only functional as a quantity parent.

But who's voice is it?? And, do I even like them?

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3 Comments:

Blogger Lumpyheadsmom said...

I think that whatever choice we make as parents, we worry that we're doing it wrong. It doesn't help that there are other parents out there - moms especially - willing to tell you you're making the wrong choice. I think all we have is the knowledge that we are doing what is right for our families, and for ourselves, for now. While the doubts will always be there, I think you know what feels right for you and yours. It's just tougher when those critical voices come from within.

4:40 AM  
Blogger Mad said...

This is just the sublimated version of competi-mommydom. Fight it. Fight it.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, mama.. like all things, parenting is not a competition or a race -- it's life. It's meant to be enjoyed, not be a battleground of insecurity and guilt.

It perhaps "seems so hard for you" because it IS hard. For every family, however they choose to parent. The concept of you, as a mama, being "too much junk food"!? It's preposterous.

"Losing credibility in relation to child behaviours"?! Are you meaning that Grandma is on your case for the kids not behaving!? Gimmee a break, mama -- you want your kids to behave as kids, she's just forgotten how much of a kid YOU were when you were being raised.. it's a fictious bar of child-behaviour, and come on, it's irrelevant -- your kid's not going to throw sand when s/he's a teenager, it's just an age-specific behaviour, no matter what Grandma says about your parenting, and no matter how often you end the playground session.

Of course it's NOT the case that you're "not good enough" -- you can't seriously think that, can you?! Do you seriously think your daycare provider is some sort of all-knowing saint that will enrich your children and imbue them with knowledge, social skills and happiness more than YOU can? I doubt it.

10:00 AM  

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