This post is a bit off piste for me really, it’s not really something I would blog about but then I saw the post that everyone is sharing and commenting on from the Sanctimommy page on Facebook. You know, the one where the woman with a 2 week old baby has a ‘rant’ about parenting martyrdom.
I’ve also seen all the people laughing and leaving their comments about how this is going to come back and bite her in the behind because what does she know – she’s only been a parent for 2 minutes and has NO CLUE.
Maybe it will.
But then again maybe it won’t?
Maybe she’ll be one of the lucky ones that parenting comes easy to, or maybe she’s one of life’s natural jugglers? Who knows, only time will tell but I can see where she is coming from – and I can say this with 10 years of parenting experience behind me!
The things she describes in that post? It may be slightly controversial but I mostly agree with her (though I don’t agree that mums are lazy) When I had friends with newborns and toddlers at the same time as me and they used to complain they’d spent all day in their PJs because they couldn’t find time to shower, or brush their hair, or put on make-up I did use to think “Say what?!”. I had the same thoughts when friends told me they had no time to cook dinner, regardless of how stressful my day with two children under the age of 3 was, there was always dinner made – maybe it wasn’t always on time and maybe on a bad day it consisted of a jar of pasta sauce and some garlic bread but we still ate pretty well.
You can call me sanctimonious or smug if you like however these things didn’t seem that difficult.
I’m not saying there weren’t bad days every now and again – of course there were – I had a baby through to his toddler years that probably could have broken the Guinness World Record for most hours of crying, ever. There were days when, yes, my toddlers smushed biscuits in the carpet or scribbled on the walls because I was preoccupied but I quickly learnt, as do most parents, that the best way to avoid chaos is to occupy your children, however small. My favourite tactic for this while making dinner? I used to sit them in the high chair where they could watch me and I could interact with them, while they nibbled on raisins or fruit or bashed one of those toys around that suckered onto the tray. Or as they got a little older, did some scribbling, play doh or paint. It worked for us, and you do what works don’t you?
“Food is eaten at the table, not while running through the house” I hear ya sister (though, yeah, with a 2 week old, you’ve not really experienced this yet my love…) Food is eaten at the table every night in my house. My children have learnt table manners. Sometimes I am astounded by other children on play dates, at parties and don’t even get me started on restaurants. Please. Pick your battles and all that, but allowing children to run around during meal times? There’s no excuse in the world that will make me think that’s acceptable. And yes, if you allow your children to torment other people in cafes and restaurants while basically turning a blind eye, I WILL judge you #sorrynotsorry.
There IS a bit of martyrdom going on in the parenting world. It used to be quite the opposite. When you were all bleary-eyed of a morning, you used to get hit with how good a sleeper someone’s child was now it seems to be oneupmanship on who has had the least amount of sleep or who has the fussiest eater. Sometimes I almost feel forced to make something up and say something bad about my children (though the crying things is all true – they should use that as a method of torture).
With hindsight, whilst the years with babies and toddlers felt hard they were nothing compared to the juggling I have to do now the children are older, have endless after school activities, friends round, birthday parties, homework, school trips, school dress up days…. and I’m working near full-time. It’s now I am more likely to say “stuff tea, lets get a takeaway” because it’s 9pm and I have not sat down since I finished work at 3pm!
I feel this poor woman has had a bit a rough deal if I’m honest. Sure, she’s got a lot to learn but on the other hand, perhaps an attitude like this will get her through – instead of feeling like you can’t do something, perhaps the mentality of “I’m not going to be like that ” actually goes some way to helping you feel in control? PMA and all that shizzle.
All I can say is good luck to this lady!