Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Increasing Insanity of "Mommy Culture"

Does anyone else feel suffocated sometimes by the non-stop banter about motherhood?  It seems every day there are multiple articles about motherhood in my newsfeed.  "10 Things Not to say to a Stay at Home Mom"  "10 Things Not to say to a working Mom" "How to Miss a Childhood"  "Let's Stop Judging Each Other"  and sometimes I just want to scream, "Enough already!!".  Oh my goodness, can we please STOP talking about motherhood and dissecting every little bit of it.  Seriously, I cannot imagine that generations past talked and talked ad nauseam about motherhood the way we do.  No, they just did the darn thing.  I just get sick of the "mommy culture" sometimes.  I find it overwhelming and I feel like the pressure and "background noise" just keeps increasing.

Let's take Pinterest for example.  Valentines Day is coming up and once upon a time, this holiday was probably not celebrated at all by children.  Perhaps if mother was feeling crafty she may bake some regular, ole' cookies.  Was she pinning 15 different crafts and making each meal contain some red treat and creating elaborate decorations for her home?  I'd venture to say, no.  I just feel like things are getting insane in this world of motherhood we live in.

How about the articles about "How Not To Miss A Childhood".  I've read a couple different articles about the same general topic of being "present" with your kids.  Here are my thoughts.  Yes, you shouldn't be completely glued to your phone 24/7.  Obviously.  I believe in healthy boundaries and those articles do have some good points.  But I also believe that giving your children your non-stop attention because you don't want to miss any little thing they do is unrealistic and, dare I say, not in your child's best interest.  Again, let's think about past generations, women had a lot more physical work to do just keeping up the house.   Do you think they had time to sit and be "present" for every little thing they did with their children and frolicking at the park  all day long?  No way.  They were working and keeping an eye on their children while they did it.  Probably a much less watchful eye than we keep on our children today.  If you want to spend 10 minutes on your phone while your children play at the park, bravo!  Good for you!  Relax for a few minutes.  Your kids will be fine.   I feel that the constant helicopter/entertainment parenting is doing our kids more of a disservice than we may realize.

Before you get the impression that I'm an aloof, distant parent, I'm quite the opposite. I am a stay at home mom who has devoted this season of my life to raising my two kids.  I understand the importance of investing our time in the next generation.  But I don't think that means that they should never be told "No, you need to wait"  or  "Mommy is reading right now, please don't interrupt"  or  "You need to play by yourself and you'll figure it out"  instead of constantly intervening and entertaining.  I don't think that we need to teach them that as their mothers, our world revolves around them.  Yes, in some ways, it does practically speaking, but the bigger message is the world does not revolve around them.  They need guidance and support, yes.  But they also need independence.  

People say "cherish every moment" well, let's be honest, some moments are NOT cherishable.  There, I said it!  Like when my son broke a glass bulb all over his floor while his sister simultaneously pooped all over the rug.  I will not miss those moments, well maybe for the laughs but I'll be glad when things like that don't happen.  We don't have to be mushy-gushy precious-precious all the stinkin' time about motherhood and our kids.

I wish there was more honesty.  I wish there was less "pinterest-y stuff" raising the unspoken bar of whats expected.  Motherhood is amazing, but it's also hard.  It is the hardest thing you will ever do.  There are moments of joy and ecstasy and moments of sadness, frustration and pain.  Portraying only one side of motherhood helps no one.

7 comments:

esther. said...

I don't have children (obviously you know this) but I would like to shout a loud AMEN! This idea of everything being performed to the nines is permeating our entire culture and it's causing some major emotional deficits. At least for me it is. Don't get me wrong, I love to do-it-up, rock the glitz and glamour. But NOT every single day/moment. Thank you for taking and a stand.

Mama Bear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
June said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JenHeath said...

Awesome post (as was your post before). I haven't been to your blog in awhile, and it was so refreshing to read your honesty. About a week ago I was feeling the same way about myself mothering two little boys. I ended up sending myself an email called "you are managing" and listing everything I was balancing. I printed it out and hung it on my computer desk to see whenever I was on Facebook/Pinterest. It has definitely helped oped my eyes. I too am guilty of watching that imaginary "bar of good motherhood" rise ever higher. But for me, comparing myself to others is what gets me the most! Facebook can be a really toxic environment to anyone doubtig themselves I have learned. I mean ... How many "my husband sent me roses for no reason" and "my kid can recite the Gettyburg Address" posts does a girl have to read, right??? :) anyways, I just want to say "I hear you"! And ... I support you in your decision to cut out the distractions and focus on your God and your family. Well done!

WiseStories said...

I discovered your blog looking for alternatives to Miralax! I could have done that video blog myself! I had the SAME hesitation about rice cereal(doc said I needed to for iron), it constipated him right away. He was on Miralax for 2 weeks before I followed my instincts and researched it online. He is 9 months now so it's been about 3 months of poop misery! We have TRIED everything. I have all the products you recommended but never in that regimen.
How did it work for your little guy long term???

WiseStories said...

God Bless!

Cara Maat said...

randomly found your blog. You wrote this 3 days before my twin boys were born- two months early. I was so overwhelmed most of my pregnancy (partly because we didn't know there were two babes until half way through) but primarily because I live in this little, stale town where motherhood is beyond "pintresty" and I was getting near panic over how I was going to survive as a mom in this culture. Now that my boys are 6 months old, I still have days like this. I am a creative mom, but realistic. I'm a passionate mom, but I need boundaries and limits... I have mushy gushy moments, but I also have moments where I don't feel much.. and I could go on- but a quick thank you for your honesty. I'm going to be more honest about this in my own life. You've encouraged me. Thanks :)