barefoot_mummy (barefoot_mummy) wrote,

Blissfully unaware.

Oh, this happy lovely sunshine makes me feel so wonderful. One warmish sunny day, followed by the sweet surprise of a warmish but wild and windy evening, and I'm a new gal. Recharge complete.

Today was a glimpse of the light at the end of this tunnel that is winter; a reminder of the idyllic warm springy days to come. "Four more weeks," said Today, "and then, I promise, there'll be spring."

This time last year, I was very pregnant. Oh, and angry about it. And this time three years ago, I was also pregnant - but in that first-pregnancy wonderland of Not Minding that comes from a reasonably not-unpleasant pregnancy. I love being very pregnant this time of year, because I love the anticipation that comes with both the approach of spring and the impending birth of a child. Having a baby in spring is the bomb. With both Ellie and Owen, I remember coming out of hospital with a new baby, into the first truly warm (as opposed to "warmish") day of the season. Fresh beginning, meet fresh beginning. Nice to meet you. Likewise.

So, when there's even a breath of warmth in the air, like today, we throw the windows wide open, we wear our colourful clothes, we turn the radio on, and we dance in the kitchen. We make any excuse to go out. My girl is happier, sweeter, more at ease. My boy is cheerful, relaxed, entertained by our warm-weather madness. Priorities come back into focus - I start thinking about the grand scheme of things and the big picture and what really matters.

And it's goooooood.

When it's wild out, like tonight, I like to stay up late and listen to it. (Better still, I like to be out in it - but I've got music and lively children to be awake for in the morning, so bed beckons.) It blows the cobwebs away; makes me feel more alive. So, tonight, after a fun morning with my kidlets and a relaxing afternoon waiting for my baby to wake and a great evening of fellowship, and lots of my favourite kinds of weather, I'm feeling good. Positive, strong, connected, happy.

I love being a mum. Tantrums and early mornings and a complete lack of privacy in the toilet and shower all mean nothing when I'm walking through the shops with my gorgeous girl and my beautiful boy behaving like angels and looking like little rockstars and making me so proud of their wondrousness. Or when there are warm little arms around my neck as I carry a sleepy child in from the car to be tucked into bed. I hope I never forget to be thankful for these moments - and to continue appreciating them in the times between.

I've been reading some things lately that have been making my toes curl. No, not horror stories. Worse. "Mommy" chat. "Mommy" blogs, and their comments. "Mommy" forums. Even innocent facebook posts in "Mommy" groups - often from someone seeking genuine advice. And they all go the same way:

1. Simple, legitimate opinion voiced - or question asked - on apparently harmless parenting topic.
2. Outrageous, accusatory comment made, generally offering no help whatsoever, but simply blasting the writer for not sharing the commenter's exact parenting philosophy.
3. War of high-school-nastiness proportions, complete with name calling, huge generalizations and assumptions, and accusations of ignorance and stupidity.
4. A Hitler reference. No argument on the internet, it seems, is complete until someone goes there. The irony is that most Hitler arguments can be used both ways. And that being a parent isn't the equivalent of running a country in late 1930s Europe (close, perhaps, but no cigar). When a... um... discussion reaches this point, PULL OUT. For goodness' sake, it's gone too far.

Why? Why does this happen? Seriously, are mums really that judgy, or do these forums and groups just attract those kinds of people? Do people look at a place designed for the sharing of experience and accumulated wisdom, and see an opportunity to preach their particular parenting techniques and standards to the rest of the parenting world? And... why???

Being a mum is hard work. I'm thankful for the wisdom and experience of those around me. I appreciate it. I hope I sometimes get to give some back. When do these mamas get time to bother with caring how other people do it? You feed your baby by x method? Good for you. Why do you need everyone else to agree it's the right way? You discipline your child by x method? If it's working for you both, great. Why does some stranger you meet over the internet have to be convinced to do the same, regardless of the temperament of their child?

My best friend's kid goes to private school. We just looked at our local public school. And guess what? It makes no difference whatsoever to our friendship. Why would it? We're both doing the exact same thing - that which works best (we hope) for our child.

Not to say I don't have opinions on what's best... for my own children. I have an opinion on the best way to feed a baby, certainly - as long as that baby is one of mine. If it's yours, frankly I don't have the time to decide. I'll leave that up to you. The school your child attends, the junk food they do or do not consume, the television they watch or don't watch, the smacks or time-outs they receive, whether the bed they sleep in is yours or their own... Up to you. I have some things to worry about. They're the things I need to do something about. Things that will take care of themselves, or be taken care of by someone else? They're not my concern. Truly. I'm not judging you. I'm too lazy, maybe. Or maybe I'm just too busy having an awesome life, and focusing on the things that matter.

Does it come from insecurity, maybe? Like in high school, when the mean girls were always the ones who were worried they weren't good enough? Are these mamas so worried about the job they're doing, and whether it measures up to some imaginary standard, that they need to constantly question what everyone else is doing? Because seriously, there is no universal standard for parenting. If that's what these people are looking for, they're making a tough job even tougher for themselves.

But not for me. Because I'm not buying into this "mommy wars" nonsense. Spring is on the way, my children are wonderful, and I'm totally rockin' this parenting thing. Whether you parent how I parent, or not.

Who's with me?

Tags: enjoying life, raising little people, thinking a bit deeply

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