Saturday, May 16, 2009

I was a really good mom before I had kids.

We're embarking on new territory. Thing 2 just tried out for the Soccer Academy, the more competitive group for 7-year-olds. I am stressed about this. I really don't care if she makes it or not. I am stressed because I wonder if it's too much too soon. Have you read the paper lately? It's full of stories about pushing your kids too hard and the sports-related injuries they suffer at much too young an age. Still, she wants to do it.

This topic is timely because it's rare that I question my parenting choices. Whatever we screw up will be resolved by therapy.

Just this week I read the book "I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids." I hated it. I blogged about the authors' new book last month and was happy to borrow this one from a friend. There was every reason to like it. I'm an involved parent. It's my job to raise smart, socially conscious children. But this book just rubbed me the wrong way. I tend not to whine about this stuff or give it so much thought. I'm sure the authors wrote it to reassure women that they are not alone. Yes, there is a lot to motherhood. Still, if I thought about it too much I'd freak out about the huge responsibility it is and lose whatever's left of my sanity.

Here's a list of some of the issues that mothers today struggle over:
  • Organic vs non organic
  • TV vs no TV
  • Potty train at two vs potty train at three
  • Barbies and guns vs no Barbies and guns
  • Work vs stay home
  • Music class vs gymnastics class vs no class
My views on these things are moderate. Organic when possible. TV after homework is done and on Saturday mornings so we can sleep in. Potty train at two to reduce the number of diapers that go into landfill.

Until 18 months ago Dave traveled 75% for work. It was just the way things were. We had three kids and I was the mom. Now that he doesn't travel for work we share in parenting duties fairly equally; I appreciate it because those early years were pretty busy!

The only part of the book I liked was the Dirty Little Secrets. Here are a few gems:
  • I tell my daughter, "You are only two years old. It says right here on the package that you can only have two cookies."
  • I tell lies. Soccer's been canceled; we can't go. Or, the pool's not open; we can't go.
  • I want my own apartment because I don't like people touching my stuff.
  • Sometimes I think, "I can't believe I gave up nine months of drinking for this."
Yet this week I questioned a parenting decision. Stay tuned.


Squirt's mom said...

You only questioned one parenting decision? I think I have questioned at least 10 this week alone! This teenage thing is tough!

Paige said...

Thank you so much for the review. I finally watched the oprah show and thought those moms were such whiners! anything fantastic in life is difficult.

Nortorious said...

Totally going to use that "says on the package" trick.