Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm a Darn Good Mommy Blogger

The ladies at Crazy Hip Blog Mamas want us all to come out and play. And since my weekend was only marginally of interest, I could use the prompt.

Why am I a good mommy blogger?

That presumes something....that I am a mommy blogger. Given that I write not only about my life as a mother, but also as an employee, a wife, a sister, a friend, a pet-owner, a cook, a church leader, and a musician, that's a big assumption.

Or is it?

Something my mom did very well when I was growing up was having a life outside her children. She didn't re-enter the paid workforce until I was in high school, but she definitely did not spend her days eating bon-bons and watching soap operas. Instead, she was president of the arts council, an active volunteer at the Arkansas Arts Center, took tennis lessons (that one, I think, didn't last long, but kudos for trying, anyway), taught herself word processing (in the early 1980's, when computers weren't ubiquitous), wrote and self-published a cookbook, and was an elder in her church, no matter where the church was. And, in her retirement, she remains busy and active, engaged in her community and trying to make the world a better place.

So, that's my primary female role model. And when I had kids, I had already learned something about myself. I like to behave similarly. Before kids, I sometimes worked two jobs, or, if I just had one job, I volunteered on weekends for the Humane Society and went back to school. Like nature, my calendar abhorred a vacuum.

And as a mom (and as a mommy blogger), I demonstrate that the daily life of a mother need not be a bon-bon eating, housecleaning life of frumpery.

When I was a co-leader for the Attachment Parenting of Memphis chapter, we talked about the various tenets of attachment parenting. Beyond the basics (breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, gentle discipline) was the principle that kept it all in perspective: balance in family life. Every person's load is different, and how each person balances that load is an individual art. When you add a few more people who share the bonds of family into the mix, balance becomes trickier, especially when some of the people are small, lack self-control and empathy, and can't take care of themselves at all. Finding balance with small children is difficult.

I imagine that much of my readership (beyond my family and friends...hi Mom!) includes mothers with children younger than mine. Many of the mommy bloggers I read have little kids. I often find myself smiling as I read about the difficulties and joys of raising little ones. Why am I smiling? Because that chapter of my life is over.

Bedtime. I remember how hard it used to be. And when I join open threads at MamaPop Talk, that's frequently the first conversation: it's so hard to get my four-year-old to go to sleep. And I smile and remember and feel so very pleased that we're past that stage. And I tell those moms that there's hope. It gets better. Honest!

And that's what makes me a good mommy blogger. I'm past pregnancy, past the diapers, past breastfeeding, past the toddler years, past preschool, past potty-training, past monsters under the bed, bast bedtime difficulties. But I remember those times. I remember them well. I remember the roller coaster time it was. And I'm more than happy to share the light at the end of the tunnel that is parenting middle-childhood kids. Not to gloat (look what great kids I have! your kids won't go to bed and mine will! and they're smart too! and they are out of diapers!), but to show the moms of younger kids that, even though it's hard and it seems like it lasts forever, those days are short, and it gets easier.

(And I totally know that I'll be eating these words in just a couple of years, when the girl is in eighth grade and the boy becomes a stinky, awful growing thing that won't stop eating. I'm not stupid. I know it's coming.)


NotAMeanGirl said...

Hi. I love your perspective on things. I have a 7 year old and can really relate to a lot of what you have to say. HOW, though, do you manage to have a life outside work and kids? God... I'm exhausted without it! lol

Dawn said...

Well, all I can say, as a mom of an infant, a 4 yr old and a soon to be entering those horrendous pre-teen years....



Sharon said...

I remember the roller coaster time it was. And I'm more than happy to share the light at the end of the tunnel that is parenting middle-childhood kids.

Amen to that! It's good to hear frequently about the light at the end of the (sometimes long) tunnel. My days w/ a 3 year old and 2 month old aren't always bad, but they sure are challenging.

The middle-school years SHOULD be good. I view them as a temporary rest period. lol. Early childhood is physically exhausting, then teenage years are mentally exhausting. It's just your rest period! Enjoy it!

Karlana said...

One of the major reasons why some Moms lose grip with reality, and with themselves, is simply because they have no life outside of what they do day in and day out. In a way, if you are unable to go out into the world and do something for yourself, many have turned to the Internet and blogging because these are other extensions to the outside world.

Thanks for sharing your hectic life. It is sure is nice to see that there are some of us in numbers!

Crimson Wife said...

Great post, thanks for sharing!