This week, 3 things have had me thinking about how and why we blog, mothers and wives that is…
USA Today ran a story this week in their Life section about how mother’s blog now and how that is becoming a new stage in the Mommy wars.
Arwen blogged over at Faith and Family Live! this week about our tendencies to only blog the happy things in our parenting and marriage. Not the reality that sometimes, there might only be hot dogs for dinner.
The third is a post I am not going to link to, but a blog I came across where a mother chronicled what made her mothering so successful and she inadvertently sent the vibe to more than a few who read it that if they did some or any of the things she avoided in her parenting, they were completely awful people. Her com box is pretty full right now, and it’s not a blog I frequent, so I’ll just leave it at that.
Why are we so afraid to admit to our shortcomings as wives and mothers? True, no one likes to admit they are not perfect, but the reality is, we aren’t. Judgment is also sometimes extremely painful to deal with. It’s a major buzz kill when a parenting solution you’ve hit upon in your family is met by scorn and/or disdain by other mothers.
I clearly remember a friend telling me how when she told her neighbor how they meal-planned but had one of two back-up dinners (either breakfast for dinner or hot dogs) as an alternative in case something unforeseen happened her neighbor wrinkled her nose and asked, “even in a hurry, how could you feed your family that crap.” (I’m assuming the “crap” she is referring to is the hot dogs.) Ouch.
And another thing we notice is that rarely do we here so much about marriage unless it is positive. That’s why I maintain that marriage is hard work. Emphasis on hard work there. Romance is a wonderful beautiful thing but it does not occur every minute of every day in a marriage. Show me the marriage where that does occur and I’ll show you were it says that was written by the Brother’s Grimm.
I’m not proud of the fact that Jeff and I have loud arguments sometimes. Or that there are days when the tv is on all day and lunch is McDonald’s and dinner is Domino’s but those are real days that occasionally happen here.
And my bathroom needs to be cleaned, my kids probably had some high fructose corn syrup today at some point, and I might have thanked my husband with a sarcastic tone in my voice for his help bathing the kids. I’m not proud of any of those things by a long shot, but they are the truth. Isn’t the truth supposed to set you free? Well, not really that truth…
I try my hardest to avoid showing judgment of other moms. And it angers me when a blogger asks people to share their experiences and instead commenters trade barbs about how could one do that or accept that. It baffles me how people believe that little comment box is their pedestal to stand on and preach the Gospel of Why I Am the Best Mommy and Wife! Sure, we all have a right to our own opinion, but we don’t have the right to think our opinion is the only one out there.
And in parenting and marriage, there are no absolutes (except for love). So to say that one answer for parenting or how to solve a disagreement in a marriage is THE answer is ludicrous. I have great admiration for the women out there who are strong in their convictions about motherhood and marriage but can still respect that there are other ways to do things. And this is why I do not give advice unless it is asked for. I hate someone thinking that because I said that my child did or did not do this it is the be-all-end-all answer on the subject.
The only thing worse than receiving unsolicited parenting advice is unsolicited marriage advice. One of the funniest episodes ever of Everybody Love’s Raymond centers around newlyweds Robert and Amy offering marriage advice to Debra and Ray and Frank and Marie. It’s one of those “it’s funny because it’s true” episodes. Probably the strangest marriage advice one can receive is not advice regarding a problem per se, but a perceived problem. Like for example, I work nights and my husband is home with our kids and how that “reversal of roles” must be a great burden to our marriage? Uh, actually, it’s not. It may be in some marriages, but it is working pretty well for us. So getting “advice” about this is not only obnoxious, it’s intrusive.
So, don’t believe the hype. I am not a super-woman. I have pretty ugly mommy moments from time to time. I can be the wife no one would ever want. And while these are embarrassing awful moments for me, they teach me humility and the ability to try to learn from them.