Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Sweet Spot

In the land of Parenting, the sweet spot is an elusive urban legend.

The sweet spot is where no person, anywhere, at any time or under any circumstances can have anything negative to say about your parenting.


I love blogging, I love reading parenting blogs, I get inspiration and comfort and anxiety and support and laughter and red eyes from reading about the experiences of Parents around the world. There are some amazing and talented and loving parents out there who are brave enough to put their lives on the internets for the rest of us to read over the din of children or the rims of wine glasses.

But for every blog I come across that makes me feel less alone, less crazy, less impatient, less prepared (in other words, allows me take a deep breath and get back into the fray with a little more kindness and courage) there is a blog that really makes me wonder why in the world I turn on my computer. I would never stick around to hear the end of a conversation like this with the actual human being saying these things, why am I reading their online diary? I forget sometimes I have the choice to walk away.

To walk away before I start to doubt the choices I have made in parenting my children. Walk away before I get defensive or stuttery or protective. Walk away before I begin formulating the response in my head which usually begins with 'why in the world do you care so much about what other people do??' (which is an ironic response as in that moment I am caring so much about what that other person is doing).

The thing I love about blogging is that I am free to write about whatever I want. Mostly it is about parenting or wifeing or cooking or just living, but I do love that when something gets me going I have a forum to write out my thoughts as I process through them. I am an external processor and usually when I am really ruminating about something Grant knows to just grab a beer and sit and listen until my thoughts are all spilled out. It can take hours. But talking (or writing) about my thoughts makes me feel far less tired and crazy then when I just let them tumble around in my head. Verbal processors gotta process.

And parenting is one of those things that I ruminate about a lot. And I am learning after three years of doing this job that I will never find the sweet spot. Purslane and Knox will always be over or under exposed to real life. Too much or too little sleep trained. Too free or too restrained. Too mouthy or too timid. Too breastfed or too solid food fed. Too childish or growing up too fast. Too much TV or too much independent play.

And as a Mama I will be too organic or too processed. Too strict or too loose. Too involved or too absent. Working too much or working too little. Suffering too much or not allowing myself to acknowledge that parenting is difficult enough. Setting reasonable boundaries or letting them learn on their own. Too much alone time or not enough. Doing the natural thing too much or enjoying the luxury of modern conveniences.

It has become TOO much. Trying to find the elusive sweet spot that I am 127% convinced will never come to be. And we as parents all know this, we just don't live like we do. We constantly look around us noticing how other parents are doing- not so we can give them a high five and encourage their decisions but so we can see how we line up.

Ian and Pursy, probably seconds before one of
 them punched the other in the throat
One of my favorites is my sweet friend Allie who is wonderful in her own human right, but is also fantastic to parent with. She has an Ian who is a few months older than Pursy and will (hopefully!) drop Baby Boy #2 in the next two weeks. One of my favorite qualities about my friend is that we find the same things hilarious. Particularly when it comes to parents and their children in public. I think we could all agree that we take ourselves too seriously, yes? It does a body good to laugh at yourself and Allie and I are right there helping you out by laughing first.

We were at the zoo a few weeks ago wandering around trying to get to all the animals on Ian and Pursy's list of must-sees before Allie had to pee or I had to change a diaper. We stopped for a second at a drinking fountain where all three babes were splashing each other and fighting over whose turn it was to get a drink. A little guy wandered over, obviously entranced by the spontaneous water party, and got close to the fountain to join in. His mother RAN over and scooped him up. As she walked away- very much still in earshot of us- we heard her say "This Mommy does not let HER child drink from drinking fountains".

Allie and I busted out laughing- earning us a scathing over the shoulder look from the woman who will one day get a big shock when she finds out that her kid eats boogers just like every other kid.

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha I love this. Way to help those kiddos build up strong immune systems!! By the way, I almost called my homemade ice cream/magic shell picture "winning at wifeing" but then I realized: who am i kidding? i made that stuff for ME. Glad to know I am not the only one who uses the word wifeing though :-) I miss you!!