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Jan 15 2009

An innocent query

Whew. I think I can finally start to come back to my senses. This has been quite the week. Tom got home on Saturday, we all got to know one another again on Sunday, and Monday all hell broke loose.

MONDAY! A’s first skin scratch test for multiple food allergies. I had J hanging on me all morning, A all afternoon. He did great, only slight allergic reaction to cottonwoods, white potato (crap), and english walnut (double crap). Lost the better part of the day.

TUESDAY! I had a physical so I could get my happy pills. The nurse (who I’ve known for years) is apparently heavy handed with needles; I have a cruel bruise from the blood draw (hey, I warned her about my reluctant veins) and I can barely lift my arm from the tetanus booster. Running errands on an empty stomach after a blood draw and big shot…don’t recommend it.  I credit the lightheadedness for my innocent query on Facebook, details at 10. Day was shot.

WEDNESDAY! My sitter is sick! And J is now staying home! Because the other two days he’s gone this week are already shot! And my arm is freaking killing me!  And thank you to SpongeBob for filling in as a babysitter! And Suzuki violin is going to kill me, if my neck doesn’t! Sayonara Wednesday!

TODAY! ThankyousweetbabyJesusformyacupuncturist. I feel human again. And A had his second and final skin scratch test today and reacted to nothing. Zip, zero, zilch. Happy he’s apparently allergic to nothing, ticked off that he’s apparently allergic to nothing. More testing next month and if nothing comes from that, western medicine will have done its job and it’s on to homeopathy. Little getting done.

Dootdoot doot doot… Doot doot doot doot… Dootdoot doot doot… Dootdoot doot doot…

Innocent query creates great amount of discussion on Jen’s Facebook page!!! Again, I blame the lack of eating followed by a blood draw, the insane stress earlier in the week, and random curiosity. Coming back from my doctor’s appointment I was supposed to go volunteer in J’s classroom. And I just couldn’t do it. I was wiped, I was hungry, I was cranky, and I needed to recharge my batteries before the boys got home from school. But the guilt was just eating at me. I bailed from volunteering in his classroom in December because it was right before we left for our trip. So I posted a quick question as my status: “What makes a good mom?” and then this: asks for clarification: does a good mom take care of herself to BE a good mom, or does she do for her kids instead? Discuss..”

And, boy, I got answers. All sorts of answers. If you were part of that discussion, you know I got a wide variety of answers, with one big one sticking out. The air mask on the plane model. Care for yourself so that you are able to care for others. Amen. I totally agree with this, I live this (which is why I often tell my boys to get the hell outside already-like right now), I preach it, I scream it from the rooftops. And I often forget it.

But I found one big, huge, glaring difference. I got two responses from guys; one was in direct response, one was a private message. And their responses were…damn. One commented that “mom” and “self” don’t mix very well and the other said

The fact that you all ask the question, feel some guilt, discuss it with others, and care about the answer, tells me that you are all good moms. Now stop wasting your time.”

Wow. Men are from Mars indeed. I just felt bad that I bailed from volunteering in the classroom. Now I feel worse. Thanks.

Moms, especially moms of challenging kids, are often looked at by society as slackers. At least, that’s how it appears to me. “You stay home with your kids?” or “You don’t work?” or “You work and don’t stay home with your kids?” or “If you’re staying home with your kids why are they acting that way?” or “They’re acting that way because you don’t stay home with your kids.” We can’t win. I was just trying to figure out if a “good mom” would suck it up and go volunteer or if a “good mom” would get a grip on herself so she’s more human when the cherubs get home.

This topic of discussion is far from over, and I’m not wasting my time.

And could this post have been any more rambling?

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6 comments

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  1. cms8741

    A good mom screws up her kids as little as possible.

    The jury’s out until they grow up. You can’t gauge it in the moment, and your peers/family can’t gauge it either.

    The only person who can is your kid. Your adult kid.

    My 2 cents.

  2. kate

    Allergy testing. Gah, Paco had that done a few years ago when his tongue, hands and feet got swollen after eating…something. Magically he wasn’t allergic to anything. Um. Riiiight. It happened twice in a year and the second time was a much worse reaction (as they often are). We still don’t know what caused it.

    I love me some happy pills. They make me so much nicer. (I maybe should have tried them in college!)

    My impression of how society sees SAHMs is slightly different. I always get the “it must be nice” comment. Like Paco makes SO MUCH MONEY we’re on easy street.Thbpppppt. It’s all about decisions. We decided before we had kids that one of needed to stay home, it worked out that it was me. (It’s hard to take maternity leave when your active duty Air Force– and a man. 😉 ) For better or worse, having kids means making sacrifices, it’s called being a parent, and yeah, sometimes it totally sucks.

    I mostly feel like Mothers aren’t that well respected regardless of whether they stay home or go back to work. If your child grows up and becomes successful, THEN you get the praises of being a good Mother. (Think of all those heart warming stories on Oprah.) example: Paco and I can be at a restaurant and the kids are behaving. Someone will come up and congratulate HIM on such well behaved children. Clearly I had nothing to with it.

    However! I think we put way more pressure on ourselves as parents and especially as SAHMs to be the perfect parent than anyone else does. We’ve been told by the media what a perfect parent should be, sadly, there isn’t anyone who can fit that description for very long– we all live in the color “Pleasantville”, not the black and white one.

    Cut yourself some slack. If you’re doing the best you can, then you ARE a good Mom. A good Mom is a good Mom by YOUR definition. No one else’s. (Now if only I could take my own advice!)

  3. melissaz

    I agree. You just can’t win in this scenario. Sad, but true. So you do the best you can and hope that it is enough.

  4. mrsvierkant

    There is no such thing as a perfect parent. You do the best that you can, when you can.

    Save for college or therapy, and when they are old enough, you’ll know which one they will need. 😉

    (((Hugs))) and take care of you.

  5. Dawn on MDI

    I saw former Texas governor Ann Richards speak once at a conference on women in the workforce (put on by the AFL-CIO). She said many wonderful things, but the best one was when she described the double standard put on moms, especially single moms. “If you stay at home to raise your kids and accept some assistance, you’re a welfare slacker. If you leave your kids with a sitter – even if the sitter is their grandmother – and go to work, you’re a heartless bitch. Never since Adam said ‘Eve made me do it’ have women taken it so bad.”

    I mourned for a good long time when she died.

    go with the airplane thing. It’s the truth.

  6. Nalini Prasanna

    One can do whats best and leave the rest 😀

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