Being Honest About Parenting
There are a few blogs that I’ve read for a very long time. Some since I was pregnant with Max…so for more than five years now. The reason I like them is because the writers are honest about parenting. These are not the blogs that talk mostly about how having children is a blessing and how everyday is sunshine and roses. No, these are blogs that talk openly about making decisions between working or staying home with your children. How sometimes, when you have kids, you don’t really want your pet anymore. What it’s like to have a child with multiple special needs.
I think that more honesty in parenting is necessary. Yes, we all joke about needing a glass of wine now and then, but rarely do we really break down just how hard being a parent is. I think one thing that makes this more difficult is Facebook. I’ve talked before about breaking up with Facebook because it made me feel inferior. If I’m not totally in love with my children every moment of the day, then I’m not as good a parent as someone else. Or, if the St. Patrick’s day leprechaun doesn’t visit MY house (which it never did as a child….maybe we got a green bagel on the way to school because my mom had to pick up something else at the store that day), will my children grow up to hate me? When I saw all the green toilet and trashed toy room posts (I’m looking at you Organized Mom), my first instinct was to panic and scramble to figure out what to do at my house, when really what I was thinking the whole time was that is super cute, but who the heck is going to clean all that up now?
When I came across this post (warning, some foul language) chronicling a day in the life as it was really happening, but also how it was portrayed on Facebook, I could totally relate. For example, the Northeast had another huge snowstorm recently resulting in an unexpected cancelled school day for Max and many teachers not able to reach work at Ben’s child care. I chose to keep both boys home and my Facebook status read this:
The thing is, I didn’t want a good old-fashioned snow day at all…but it seemed like everyone else on Facebook did. What I really wanted it to say was “A snow day is the last thing I need. My kids are driving me nuts this week and I can use a break. I was really looking forward to a quiet day in my office”. This writer calls it “Fakebooking” (I love that!). I think what both these bloggers are saying is so true. Don’t judge a book by its cover and don’t judge a parent by her Facebook status. BTW, all this being said, I have had some thoughts recently on what my kids will think about when they are older in regards to what I say about them online now. I often wonder if they will think I didn’t love them as much as I do if I’m honest online about how hard parenting is sometimes. That’s a post for another day though.
Because of all this, I really enjoyed this post by blogger Steve Wiens. Parenting is hard. You don’t have to enjoy every moment even though those moments do go by quickly and the kids do grow up so fast. But right now, in the moment, life may be a little unsteady, and not always joyful. It’s ok not to listen to people who tell you (or try to show you) otherwise.