Writing About Motherhood is Scary

Jackson crawling through a tunnel

You never know what’s around the next bend.

 

This post previously appeared on Happy by Design

You may read that title and think, “What a hypocrite! How can you have a website aimed at mothers when you don’t even want to write about motherhood?”

Well, it’s not that I don’t want to – I do. I’m just scared to because there is SO much scrutiny around everything mothers do (and parents, in general).  When I write about wanting to advance my career, or wanting to be healthy, I’m fairly confident that there is a sizable population in the same boat as me.

But when it comes to my views on motherhood and parenting? All bets are off. There’s a really good chance that any opinion I share is going to be met with a backlash of some proportion because not only is it a topic that people are VERY passionate about (funny enough – they don’t even have to be parents to be passionate about it), it’s also a topic where people have very strong opinions on their version of what is right and what is wrong. How do I know this? Because I’m just as guilty. There are some things that I can let go, and there are some things that just immediately send me into hysteria. I feel it’s my civic duty to get up on my high horse and preach to whoever will listen about my views (which are the “right” views, of course…wink, wink) on that particular parenting topic.

A sampling of parenting methods…SCRATCH THAT….too exhausting. I’m only diving into food preferences

First off – I’d like you to know that my intent was to show how many different parenting methods and mantras exist on various topics. I got through food preferences (which again, aren’t all inclusive) and I didn’t feel like diving into any other topics. There was enough in that one decision of the millions of decisions parents make on a daily basis to illustrate my point.

Food preferences – what should your child(ren) eat?

  1. Organic and vegan only (nitrate-free, gluten-free, soy-free if possible).
  2. Organic and homemade. Get out of here, Velveeta!
  3. It doesn’t have to be organic, specifically, but maybe more heavily relying on fresh produce.
  4. Are hotdogs considered nutritious? Meh, who cares. They’ll probably get some nutrition at daycare.
  5. Organic shmorganic. I make comfort food. And Velveeta family meals are my main squeeze.
  6. I feed eight mouths, three times a day. Whatever keeps the grocery bill down is whatever they eat.

Now I’m willing to upset a large majority of my readers by letting you all know this one thing about my parenting preferences as it relates to food preferences. For the most part, I bounce between 3, 4 and 5. And I probably stay on 4 and 5 longer than I should.

But you know what? I know parents that fall at various locations on the spectrum. Does that mean I should be able to tell them whether they are right or wrong? Now some of you may say, “YES. Food is easy, Jamie. Kids should eat healthy foods. The healthier, the better.” And of course I agree with that statement. But am I going to tell the mom of eight kids that she is a terrible mom for wanting to feed her kids only what she can afford because she also wants to keep a roof over their heads? No. I cannot in good conscious make that judgment.

The root of it all

And that’s just it. I have a fear of writing about MY views on motherhood, because I fear the judgments that may usher forth from putting those views out into the world. But it also goes both ways. I also fear that some of the things I put out into the world will make others feel bad about what they’re doing as a parent. And that’s not what I want to create either.

I’d love to have a “Kumbaya” moment here with all of the mothers and fathers and grandparents and aunts and uncles and foster parents and anyone else that may take on a parenting role and say, “We’re all doing the best we can!” Which for the most part is true (there are always exceptions, unfortunately). But I’m not a sappy hug-it-out kind of a person so I’d like to just skip that and say, at least as it pertains to me, I’ll try to do a better job not judging other parents if you all try not to judge my parenting skills too harshly. Kapeesh?

What I will share with you

Whew! What a load off my chest! Okay, moving on. I know what I want this website to be – the same motto we have listed on the front page, “A community for mothers who follow their passions.” So I will be writing about motherhood, to some degree, because it truly is a passion of mine. But you won’t find me preaching “the one true way” or the “best way to be a mother” or any topics aimed to pit those who are stay-at-home mothers against those who pursue full-time careers while still being a mother (not even with a ten-foot pole). Because no matter what your method is, we’re all doing our best because our kids deserve the best. But I know that my best and your best may not entail the same journey. And I’m okay with that.

To be clear – you won’t see me getting up on my high horse about any parenting methods I use or don’t use. However, I’m going to share successes and frustrations as it relates to raising my little one. Because it’s not just about sharing your beliefs and views, but sharing how those beliefs and views actually translate into real life situations.

So I’ll leave you with this, because it’s always makes me laugh, but just know that I can’t take credit for it…

“I was a really good mom…until I had kids.”

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