The art of Motherhood seems to be a thankless job (unless, of course, you threaten to make your spouse do it for a week) but there are some moments that define the job. In fact it isn’t likely to happen anywhere else, except in the work place of mom. You just have to laugh and chalk it up to motherhood.
You know you’re a mom when:
– You yell “Don’t put the dog’s tail in your mouth!” in a public place.
– Your toddler is following so closely that when you stop they bounce off your backside and into a wall.
– Part of your laundry system involves disassembling a car seat, washing the cover, and reassembling it again. If you have more than one child you can do each car seat assemble in about five minutes.
– You wake up at 5am without setting an alarm clock. You also wake up to little eyes and a teddy bear staring at you from the side of the bed.
– Part of your toilet routine is attacking the little fingers that appear under the closed door.
– You still feel anxiety and guilt coupled with exasperation for closing the bathroom door.
There are a thousands of cute little memes and articles floating around on our social sites. There are also some very disturbing videos and pictures, and some of them involve the interactions between a parent and a child. With these clips of parents and their children comes a number of questions we are asking ourselves.
Why Would We Want To Pass This Stuff On Anyway?
Most of us have no desire to watch other people be bad parents, not to mention pass these videos on to our friends. So why do some of us choose to? Mainly because we a scared of what may happen when we don’t. We don’t want a little one to be harmed by their parent either in neglect or physical abuse. A first response for us may be to protect the child by posting. We hope that by posting we will create awareness and bring the parent to justice.
On The Other Hand…
We may find ourselves pausing with a finger hovering over that send button. What if this is what the parent in question wants? Is this a way to get attention for them? Are they trying to rack up Youtube views by producing something scandalous.
Do you know who can be the most critical of parenting? People who don’t have children. I’m sorry to say that I was no different. I would look at parents struggling with their children in private and public places. I would analyze their parenting style. And then I would wander off to future land where I would deal with my children in a more productive, less damaging and much more selfless way.
Yeah… I miss thinking I was going to revolutionize the art of parenting. Now I’m a real parent to real children and much to my surprise I remember all those moments of judgement. While ashamed of my judgmental point of view, I’m glad I was paying attention. I needed some of the lessons these parents taught me.
I taught my child a new word yesterday, and it wasn’t a good one. While I do my best to keep such words to myself there are times that they come out anyway. Yesterday he brought me a bottle of medicine (which had been stored too high for him to get to) and opened it right in front of me (even though it was “child proof”). The word slipped out and my child regarded me with a skeptical eye. “Mommy say a bad word?”
“Yes,” I answered. “Mommy said a bad word.” He let it go because I had told the truth, but still he had the look of mommy is crazy in his expression.
I’m Crazy With Worry
The truth is I can’t let worry go when it comes to my babies. It’s severe. It comes from mommy imagination. Like what happened yesterday, except while I’m in the bathroom. I imagine chairs being dragged to a counter and used for climbing. He could fall. He could break his arm/leg/neck. I imagine the contents of the upper shelves. He could get into cleaning solutions/ medicines/sharp objects. I can see in my mind’s eye the end result very clearly. At times it has made me cry before I remember I’m just imagining and resolve to take all steps possible to prevent it.
I know. What good can come of war? What could all this social chaos and finger pointing lead to that would be beneficial? Well, the mommy wars may be a war of ideas, but it’s a war none the less, and war has a dark secret with a glimmer of hope. War is a catalyst for advancement and social change.
Like any war the mommy wars have resulted in technological advancement. Don’t believe me? We have baby monitors that have video as well as sound. We have five point buckling security in our car seats. We have created a safer crib, a safer bouncer, and ways to protect our children around the home.
Would any of this happened without the mommy wars? Perhaps, but the progress would have been slower. The pressure to have such items would not have been as severe. In reality our desire to be better parents have resulted in technological advancements by companies trying to cater to the grow “protect my child child” industry.
Alternating Nap Times
If you are trying to find a way to get one on one time with your younger children, but find there aren’t enough hours in a day, try an alternating nap schedule. As your little ones get older they may still need naps, but that doesn’t mean that they need to have it at the same time. Use the first nap time to spend time with the one not napping. When your second little one takes a nap spend time with the second. This frees you up later to spend time with any older children coming home from school.
If you are worried because nap time is the time you get things done you shouldn’t be. It’s actually more likely that you will get more done with an alternating nap time. My little one likes to watch me bake, so we spend time together in the kitchen. I let him mix and add ingredients and he’s thrilled. I don’t have to worry about what his sibling is doing because she’s taking a nap. My youngest likes to work out with me so while my little baker is napping I spend time exercising with my little trainer.
One of the most important things I have learned as a parent is that my child is not me. I knew that he wouldn’t be before he was born, but I am surprised by how unlike me he can sometimes be. Where I am an introvert he is quite the extrovert and very social. Where I am naturally cautious, he has no fear at all. Where I can be very serious, even at the age of two he is cracking some really funny jokes.
Meeting My Child Half Way… Or All The Way
As my child’s parent (and like all parents) it’s important for me to make sure that my little guy is confident as the person he is. This can be harder than it sounds because sometimes he and I are so different that it’s annoying. I’m a quiet person, but he loves being loud. Our compromise is to listen to music together. My music. It’s enough noise to make him happy and it doesn’t annoy me. Sometimes though his joy does come at the complete expense of my view of how things should be. He splashes in the tub and I endure getting very wet. He helps cleanup the water after the indoor hurricane that is bath time passes.
Infant congestion is difficult to get through for both baby and parent. There isn’t really an over the counter medicine that a baby can take. There are a few things we can do as parent, however, to ensure that our little ones get through this mucus filled time.
Often the phlegm rattling sound of a congested baby breathing is just the sound of air flowing over dried mucus in the nose and throat. Using a humidifier helps hydrate those dry boogers which also helps the body expel them.
If you don’t have a humidifier for your little one’s room you can help your little one breath easier by turning the bathroom into a humidity room. Turn on the shower using only hot water and spend some time in the bathroom with your little one.
Toddlers like to test their limits. Often they test their limits by testing how high they can shriek when they don’t get their way. It’s such a shocking behavioral response no matter how many times you go through it. What do you do when your child decides to do the interpretive dance of that cave child in row five? What should you not do?
Keep Your Cool
Nothing can be more nerve frazzling than a screaming toddler. They are kicking and screaming and crying, and you are sure the neighbors will call someone to protect your poor defiant baby from you. Needless to say you are stressed out. This is particularly true when your out in public with people passing by giving you the evil eye.
It’s exciting to watch a child pull themselves up or take a step for the first time. They are cute and wobbly and look so surprised when they land on their padded little rumps. As parents we are so proud of them for getting up and trying again. We try to make walking easier for them to learn with all sorts of techniques.
To Shoe or Not To Shoe
Some people believe that it’s best for little ones to learn to walk barefoot. It’s more natural. It allows them to grip the floor with their toes. Shoes and walking are two new things at once, and may be one new thing too many.
Others believe that the best thing for a walker in training is to wear shoes. They feel that it gives their child better ankle support. It gets them used to wearing shoes which they will have to do eventually anyway. It builds the habit of wearing shoes outside.