How American parenting is killing the American marriage -
flanneryflann:Sometime between when we were children and when we had children of our own, parenthood became a religion in America.
Of course, Ayelet Waldman’s blasphemy was not admitting that her kids were less than completely wonderful, only that she loved her husband more than them. This falls into the category of thou-shalt-have-no-other-gods-before-me. As with many religious crimes, judgment is not applied evenly across the sexes. Mothers must devote themselves to their children above anyone or anything else, but many wives would be offended if their husbands said, “You’re pretty great, but my love for you will never hold a candle to the love I have for John Junior.”
Mothers are also holy in a way that fathers are not expected to be. Mothers live in a clean, cheerful world filled with primary colors and children’s songs, and they don’t think about sex. A father could admit to desiring his wife without seeming like a distracted parent, but society is not as willing to cut Ms. Waldman that same slack. It is unseemly for a mother to enjoy pleasures that don’t involve her children.
This is SUCH an important conversation that we need to start having. NOW. Admitting that your identity is not “Mommy” is not a bad thing. It’s a healthy thing.
GET ABOARD THE ANNOYING OLD LADY TRAIN!
When I had my baby, I stayed home for a while all the time or took him places as a family while I recovered and everything and because he was born in October so it was cold outside and virus season, etc.
When I started going to do things on my own again, like taking a photography class at the local community college, his dad would come home from work and PARENT (not babysit) so I could get out.
My mother started making remarks to me about it. Little sidewinder things alluding to my not being completely and utterly devoted to this child, which as you all know by now was complete bullshit, I finally turned to her at a family dinner and said something every mother should know and repeat:
MOM. I DID NOT DIE GIVING BIRTH.
You are a mother, but you are still you and you were possibly a couple and if you don’t put yourself first when you can and your couplehood ahead of your mothering when it’s appropriate you’ll be a lonely mom with no life and suicidal tendencies when they move out.
Balance, people. Seek it. Make it happen.
You aren’t just raising and nurturing a child. You are teaching that child how to move through the world. You are teaching by example what to tolerate and not tolerate, what a person is worth even when that person is “just” you. Behave in a way that will show your child what they are worth, by showing them what you are worth. You are worth everything they are.
P.S. Yes this applies to dads but dads aren’t as pressured to be genderless nannybots the way moms are.
See also, why I taught my kids how to cook and do laundry as soon as they could reach—I’m not the one who needed to learn these life skills because I already had them. My job? Pass them on.
And as as single/only parent, it’s also important my kids know I need time away from them. And they need time away from me. Doesn’t mean we don’t all love each other.
Relevant to my life.
Sylvia raved about the delicious baked broccoli they had tonight. My daughter eats vegetables now, guys! She also wants my recipe for kale chips.
She went to get her laundry today and it was GONE! She found the story very dramatic, but someone had just moved it to the girls dorm.
She kept checking to see if there were snacks and tea out yet. On her second trip she said there was “a continual lack of food. I prefer food to a lack of food.”
She has attached a safety pin to her pocketknife so that when she doesn’t have pockets she can still carry her knife. LIFEHACK.
One of the room parents told her she needs to talk to us less and other people more. This is a valid statement. Sylvia said she would rather talk to us, but we negotiated to limiting our calls to 30 minutes.
Tuesday means movie night and tonight’s movie was Footloose. Aaron and I busted out into song and suitably embarrassed her. Sylvia wasn’t watching the movie, instead she was making ice cream with her roommate and using the exercise equipment.
Dinner was BANGERS AND MASH!!! I don’t know why I loved that info so much but I did. Sylvia cut up a lot of potatoes for it. She also made spinach and I asked if she liked it and she said, “Yeah. It was really good!” WHAT?!? It is an end of September miracle.
Today she spent some time perched on a lean-to roof with her roommate reading to each other from the My Little Pony comic she just got. :-D
She and Aaron got into a disagreement about the meaning of stage right/stage left.
"Have I told you the scarring story of how goats poop?" Why, no, Sylvia, do tell…
"So, you know how most animals, they open their butthole and a long poop comes out? Well, goats…their little butthole opens and then…you know how you open a pomegranate and it seems like one big thing, but it’s lots of little things, that’s what goat poop is like. And it is horrifying to watch." Alrighty then.
Sylvia asked about my day, which I told her had been terrible, because that was the truth. She asked why and I told her about this meeting and how parents were upset. She asked why and I gave her the bare bones version and she said, “Don’t the parents know that [redacted]?” And she was so literally spot on that I couldn’t believe she could see the truth of the situation better than these parents I dealt with today. High five for Sylvia understanding Montessori.
She started talking about how she missed us, and got rather philosophical. She said, “You know how people say if you love something, set it free? Well, I feel like that’s what’s happening. Not that you are letting me go, but it’s kind of like that.” Again. Wow.
She’s pretty great.
You know how sometimes parents say, “I want to be my child’s best friend”? It isn’t a psychology I’ve ever understood. It just seems painfully obvious to me that your child has other children to be their best friend and what they need you to be is a PARENT. Neither Aaron nor I have ever made any effort to *be* her best friend, nor have we had any investment in encouraging that relationship.
Long story short: After visiting Sylvia and thinking about how she interacts with us and how she interacts with her peers, it turns out, I think Aaron and I are Sylvia’s best friends. I don’t know how it happened, except that we love her and we like her and we encourage her and are interested in the things she does and ???
Basically, I’m not quite sure what to do with this information.
After a rocky departure on Sunday, filled with much sadness, Sylvia called today back to her old self.
She was drinking tea that she said was half milk, half water and some honey.
We told her about the travel plans we made for her to fly home for Thanksgiving. She asked, “Am I flying like a normal person?” Instead of as an unaccompanied minor, which she is, so, weird.
She is wearing one of the new pair of pants we got her and I’m glad she likes them because shopping with her is one of the circles of hell.
She’s on dinner chore this week, so I’ll be interested to see if she does much cooking.
They made over $1000 at the Harvest Festival, but it was less than last year.
I really want to write more about our weekend, but work is crazy. I’ll probably post some pictures soon.
Last night. Comics and snuggles.
* I should have started watching a long time ago
* I’m a sucker for dinosaur rock
I WILL CONVERT YOU ALL!
Going to the mall, buying comics and eating Dairy Queen. We’re bad influences.
On our way to see Sylvia!
cateyesbeesknees replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
Not me. I’m loving them!
girl-detective replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
I figure whatever Sylvia is up to has to be at least 20% more interesting than what I’m up to.
tj replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
Not me. I think it’s awesome she’s having such a great time.
monkeyfrog replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
eclaggs replied to your post “9/25/14”
ungracefulme replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
Not I, says I.
gatsbylives replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
Ha!! Not me. I really dig them. Seriously. :) I’m so intrigued by this school; I want to see it!!
ashamedtosay replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
I am not! I love watching Sylvia grow!
atsirhc replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
I think they’re fantastic! I really wanna go to school there. 😐
davesnothere replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
Nope they’re great.
imabtastic replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
Nope, I heart them because they make me smile :)
cattyfantastic replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
Nope, I read them!
inmi replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
I never smile when parents talk about poop.
clappityclippity replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
I love them. Your journey is beautiful
rsmallbone replied to your post “How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you…”
I read EVERY WORD. Who would do that? Wait. Do you do that to my posts?
atsirhc replied to your post “9/25/14”
this sounds like the most fun school ever. i kinda want to go.
I love you all so much. Knowing that Sylvia has a cheerleading section as she navigates the unruly waters of adolescence is very comforting.
amassofhumanity said: Who would not like Farm News. That's like not liking Dean. So, no, Hell to the Nope am I hearting Farm News politely. I love me some farm news. I was about to register a complaint with the authorities because there was no farm news yesterday. I thought yesterday was Thursday, and we didn't get Farm and Shop news. Plus, I'm now using Sylvia days to track when I am eligible for an iPhone upgrade.
Please accept a giant internet hug in exchange for this masterpiece of a message.
How many of you are just hearting those farmnews posts the way you smile and nod when new parents talk about their baby’s poop?