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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Motherhood/Oprah


So yesterday I played my DVR recording of the Oprah show on Moms. Although I could agree with some of what the Moms on the show had to say, I found some of their stories just baffled me.

To begin with the things I didn't get is that Moms complained or rather confessed that they didn't have time for showers. Some talked about how they could not shower for days. Really? I understand not shaving your legs for a week (maybe more) or not having those long candle light bubble baths, but not getting a quick shower in? The kids have to go to bed at some point and even if they don't, shower with them in the bathroom. I confess that I as a Mom take showers when my son is asleep instead of the nice morning showers or if I want a bath then sometimes my son loves to pop in and take one with me. I call that a two for one deal. I just don't get not having the time for a shower...it only takes minutes to wash your hair and throw some soap on your body.

I also did not get one Mom who confessed that during a long drive she did not want to wake up her sleeping kids to go and use a restroom, so she peed in a diaper. I know that Mom is not of the norm, but seriously, act like you are camping and find a quiet spot where no one is and just go in nature next to the car. I also wondered how a diaper for a child could withhold all the urination of an adult, but I am not going to test that one out.

What I did agree with is some of the things that people did not tell me or inform me of the less then glamorous side of motherhood. I did not know how messy the aftermath of birth was. Sure I figured that labor/delivery was nothing pretty, but you received a beautiful child for those more then gruesome efforts. I just didn't know the clean up (if you will) would last so long in your nether regions. I also agreed with the sleep issue and never getting a full nights sleep again. I knew once I had a child that when I had a newborn there would be late night feedings and when they got older there would be the occasional nightmares that would wake them up. I did not know that you would NEVER sleep again...at least a full night of uninterrupted sleep. In my house, my toddler wakes up a few times a night because he is uncomfortable (squished up again a corner) or he lost his pacifier. On occasion there is a full nights rest, well at least until 6 am, but that is a rare occurrence.

I also sort of have to agree with the battle of stay at home Moms (SAHM) and full time working Moms. Although I don't really feel it from my friends (thank God), I have found that there are judgments on both sides within the community. If you are a SAHM then people think you have all the time in the world to get things done, have an immaculate household and have dinner on the table every day at five. I don't have experience with this, but I know with vacation days off, weekends, etc., that doing those things every day just does not happen. There is also a criticism with full time working Moms. Man have I felt the backlash of that! Play dates groups are non existent. Classes for Moms or Moms with babies are typically scheduled between the hours of 9 am to 3 pm. I also hate the looks of pity when I tell people that I work and my child is in day care. He is fine people. Yes his Mom is not around him all day and every day, but he is well cared for, has probably better prepared meals then I would give him throughout the day and he is being socialized with kids his own age all day. We don't need the pity looks.

I also had to agree with the episode that judgments start from day one and honestly why? If you are doing things in the best interest of the child then why judge another Mom until you walk in her shoes. Judgment comes rather you have kids naturally or with fertility help. If you have natural labor or receive an epidural. If you you breastfeed or choose not to breastfeed. Seriously, stop the judgments. As long as a Mom is doing things that she feels is best for her kid then just let her be.

To conclude my thoughts on this show was that I also agree that there is a battle (maybe it is internal) of being super Moms. Those Moms DO NOT EXIST! They are as fake as the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. It is make believe. We as Moms set the bar so high on expectations that we often have days where we feel like complete failures. Having coordinated crafts everyday, wholesome snack/meals every day and having the picture perfect life of juggling everything gracefully does not happen. Life is what happen. Temper tantrums are what happens. Being exhausted physically and emotionally is what happens. Its all in the life of being a Mom. I just say do your best at it and if not, tomorrow is another day and you can begin again.

4 comments:

Erin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin said...

diana, i am finally leaving you a comment! yay :)
anyways, i think i would have agreed with you a few months ago about the showering, but now that i have two kids, i can honestly say it is hard. there were days (when i was on mat. leave) when i would literally forget to pee. as in i would think "i have to pee", but then julie needed a drink and i was in the kitchen, so i got that and maybe picked up a few things and then the baby started fussing and julie needed my help, but she had to wait until after i fed the baby, and then i got busy doing other stuff, and hours later i realized i REALLY REALLY had to pee!
you are lucky your little boy likes the shower. julie hates it. if i didn't shower in the morning before everyone else was awake, i would probably go without for days.

Anna said...

Ooooh you deleted a comment. Juicy.

I agree that showers are hard, but not nonexistent. I bet the reason some moms say they never get one, is they are probably the people that have to shower, gel, blowdry, style, curl, etc their hair. They can't shower at night because then they'd still have crappy hair in the morning. They should really just come to the dark side and stop wearing makeup or doing their hair. It's bliss.

Also, I'll let you in on a little secret...there's judgment on both sides of the fence, and I don't think it's intentional. I am constantly barraged by what you call "pity looks" when I say I stay at home! One lady even had the audacity to ask me if I ever considered sending Ella to daycare just for socialization (because Ella is a shy kid and wouldn't run to her to say hi when she's never met the lady). Another lady once told me how sorry she was that I couldn't have the fulfillment of a job away from home, and how she didn't understand how I could have an identity as a woman without a job! I really think what it boils down to, is that everyone has an opinion, everyone wants to do what they think is right, and everyone wants to "share" that opinion with everyone else. No one actually means to be judgmental or rude.

Oh and random story: I have felt SOOOO much peace lately about Ella's temperament, because I was watching this WETA show in the afternoon called "A Place of Our Own", and they had child development experts on talking about inborn temperament. They said that your temperament is something you are born with like your hair color, and it shapes how you look at and approach the world, and it has NOTHING to do with socialization or parenting (at least at first). They said all kids fall into 3 categories: flexible, fearful, or feisty, and it makes life a lot easier to just identify your kids temperament, and adjust schedules, routines, and activities accordingly. It really makes me feel a lot better, because I always asked myself why Julie was so flexible and laid back and Ella was so fearful all the time. They both began life in pretty much the same way, being dragged around to everything and forced to go where we went. Julie is just a flexible child and Ella is just fearful. End of story. Hooray! I didn't break her or mess her up! It's just how she approaches new situations! :-)

Totally more than you asked for I'm sure, but I wanted to share. Am I still allowed to comment again some day after writing my own blog in your comments section?

NOVAParenting said...

Interesting. I wonder what was written. I did not delete anything. Erin, I certainly can't speak from experience. I am sure some days it is hard to pee when two kids want something. I just figure that a shower is a shower because you can do that at some point during the day if you really wanted to.

Anna, you are VERY funny. You are always allowed to make comments. Thanks for writing one as well (you too Erin). Interesting about children's temperament.