Friday, September 2, 2011

Why Are YOU Giving Parenting Advice?!

I've been meaning to write this post for a while but didn't want to step on anyone's toes or be awarded Bitchy Mom of the Year Award, and I still might, but I feel someone gotsta say it.

While at one of my Many Mommy Monthly Meetings I saw two moms that I've gotten to know in the distance talking. They both have happy, well adjusted, easy tempered kids and are pretty cool moms. I then heard one say to the other "Yeah, s/he likes it, but I've got to get him/her to stop. I was reading on 'I'm a Way Better Mom Than You' blog that s/he could end up with stunted growth" [or something ridiculous] "if s/he doesn't stop by two years." And all I could think was "...are you freakin kidding me?!? Have you SEEN her kids!?!"
It struck a chord in my heart, it irritated me deeply, nearly enraged me.
It made me flash back to Lily's pregnancy when I was listening to arguments for/against co-sleeping in the office that I worked at. Two moms were getting into it, they seemed passionate about their opposite stance, and weren't going to back down. I happened to agree with the pro co-sleeping mom and silently took her side [that's a whole 'nuther bowl of cheerios]. Not long after that she confessed to me that she used her baby to keep her husband away from her when she was too tired to have sex. WHAT?!? She was just on this tangent about what a great frikkin mom she was, for being so in tune with her family's need, but then comes back and jokes with me about "how bad" she is because she LITERALLY put her child between her and her husband. I hadn't made but a few pregnancy related parenting choices but I still asked "Why are YOU giving parenting advice?" in my head.
Fastforward to my first months of being a SAHM. I was glued to these blogs. Suddenly, I didn't know how to be a mom, but these ladies [some that I'd never even met] who have 1,000+ "blog followers" and facebook fans MUST have it figured out. It didn't matter to me that these women only had one or two kids [or that some of them were just PREGNANT, hadn't even given BIRTH!] or that their salvation was questionable at best. Suddenly, I denied my own intuition, I disregarded my gut, and forgot to bring all of my questions to God instead of leaving them in a comment form in hopes that an [often] complete stranger would answer.
It wasn't until recently that I started asking, "Why aren't the well seasoned vets with 5+ kids blogging as much? I want THEIR advice." And it hit me. Because most of them ARE PARENTING. They aren't sitting down for hours at a time every day writing about what an awesome mom they are while their kids are coloring on the walls, making pipe bombs in the bathroom, or lassoing the cat in the backyard. They know that only the important things are worth sitting down and sharing with the world.
Since this realization, I've been very intentional about who I go to with my "OH MY GOSH, IS MY BABY GOING TO DIE?!" inquiries. I have one mom with kids nearly the exact same age as my kids because if my girls are going through something, chances are, her kids have been there recently too. I also know that there are things that she is better than me at, by evidence of her kids! There's another mom who is a "newer" mom than I am. She only has one baby, a few months older than Norah, but she offers me a fresh perspective on things that I may have not thought of. Another mom I go to has SIX kiddos. They are well adjusted, spirit filled, fun kids. Their mama has obviously been doing something right! All of these mamas are God seeking, health conscience, minimal medical intervention women. I know I can go to them without questioning glares, whack medical advice, or blasphemous theories. I know that if they question me, it's to grow me, and that they have my children's well being in mind, not their ego. I also ask my mama from time to time, after all, she does know me like no one else :]

I guess what I'm getting at is this: if you are a mommy blogger, find what you're supposed to be blogging about. For about a year my blog went through an identity crisis. Am I a food blog? Am I a craft blog? Am I a parenting blog? No. I'm not. I'm supposed to be sharing what God is doing in my life in an often hilarious, sometimes tear jerking fashion. I deeply feel that if you're going to tackle something so personal and convicting as how to raise your children, you should be called by Our Father to do it. Our words are to encourage and lift one another up, not to cause your brother to sin. Worry is sin.

So long story short, this is my parenting advice on why to not listen to parenting advice ;]

Hope you're having a great week and have an awesome weekend.

I took this video of Norah last night.
There's Sesame Street in the background, dirty dishes in the sink, Lily comes in and says "FOOOOCK!" [#awesomeparenting] and Eamon share's his excitement over our daughter's poop. Just a typical night in the life ;]

Norah's Sink Bath from Mae Burke on Vimeo.

Oh, and today is day two of my Facebook detox. Only mild bouts of dry heaving and convulsions so far, but I'm doing good. Trying to not find OTHER distractions on the internet to replace facebook :]


Anonymous said...

What a great post that I can relate to on SO many different levels. Thanks for sharing.

The Kelley Family said...

Such a wonderful post (as usual!) and one I can definitely relate to. I too have a few Mommas that I can take ANYTHING to and get sound advice and encouragement from a sincere heart and not an "my theories are perfect" sort of attitude.

Oh, and Norah is sitting up SOO well! I can't wait for Caden to sit up so I can do sink baths! So much easier than being hunched over the tub. :D

autumn said...

This is such a great post... SO true. I am so tahnkful that God laid this on your heart and you had the boldness to share it.

rachel.lyn said...

i love this post. so true.

i've been struggling to keep my blog updated since willow was born and then i had a revelation as i was making my last post, "i just don't have time!! i'm to busy WITH my kids to be sitting here WRITING about my kids." I would rather be spending that precious time with them than updating my blog 5 times a week...and if I do get a chance to do it, it's during nap time or at bedtime. I just can't fathom how anyone can do it otherwise!

anyway, i always appreciate your honesty.
and that Norah....she is so precious :)