Basking In My Non-Perfect-Parentness.

It’s no secret that “perfect” parents do not exist. 

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In the beginning I think we all feel the need to be “perfect“. We have this vision of the kind of parent we want to be, and we’ll be so much better/cooler than other parents who can’t seem to get it right. We have all the answers. Then we actually have a kid and, oh shit, we don’t have any answers at all. We’re fumbling around like blind rats trying to juggle while walking a tight rope. Suddenly, we suck. The realization hits. This shit is HARD.

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I can openly admit to going through the “I have the answers” phase. I know I have made other parents feel bad, even if I really didn’t mean to. I was just all stuck up and thought I knew better than them and that’s why their kids were cray. I quickly grew out of that phase after the first year with my daughter. I think most parents go through a sort of transition with their first child. At some point we realize we aren’t perfect, nor will we ever be. And we loosen up, let go of things that really don’t matter so we can have some sort of sanity, and so we don’t destroy our children. 

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Today I am proud to say I AM NOT A PERFECT PARENT BY ANY MEANS. I know that being perfect in any aspect of life is impossible. But that doesn’t stop me from having mom guilt, judging myself, judging other parents, and feeling like shit when other parents on their high horses make stupid comments that I know are ridiculous, but still bug me anyways.

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Okay, so, there’s this mom whom I follow on Instagram. I typically like following her, but today she posted something that really got under my skin. She started off with how she’s not a perfect parent. I was like, “Cool, me neither. Love seeing parents embrace their non-perfectness.” Then I read on to her reasons for not being a perfect parent….like, letting her daughter eat junk food once a month, or have some juice when they go out to eat on occasions, watch the baby channel twice a day even though “it’s tv, and not good“, or the fact that her daughter has had chips, cookies and has even tasted ice cream! *GASP* 

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Seriously? It’s like that really skinny friend who is always whining about being fat, knowing you’re bigger than she is but continues to talk about it in front of you. SHUT. UP.

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I’m not saying it was her intention to offend me or any other parent. But she did. If she thinks those things make her far from perfect, what would she think about my parenting? I honestly felt that if I mentioned the things that make me a non-perfect parent, she would judge me hardcore. If those tiny little things make her not perfect, I must be a train wreck of a parent!

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If she really is that strict, good for her, if that’s how she chooses to parent. But, in all honesty, when I hear parents talk about little things like that I feel like they aren’t being honest, and are actually looking for praise. You know, for someone to say, “Oh, if that’s all you do wrong then you’re an amazing parent!” Like I said, if she really is that strict, good for her. Maybe I’m just getting offended because of my own insecurities. 

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You wanna know what makes me a non-perfect parent? (I can’t fit everything, but here’s a few):

  1. Rayne watches TV everyday. Anything from educational shows, not so educational shows, Family Guy *GASP*, American Dad *DOUBLE GASP*, and you know what? She’s watched Dexter with me. Yeah, that’s right, she’s watched Dexter. Get over it.
  2. She HATES veggies and is very picky about fruit. I would LOVE to feed her only healthy foods, but she’s picky and will have none of it. She eats whatever we eat. Which is anything from eggs and bacon, pasta, pizza, tacos, etc. I don’t typically eat or buy fast food, but, yeah, sometimes she has a freakin’ Happy Meal. 
  3. She drinks chocolate milk almost everyday. I don’t like giving her juice because she has had tummy problems with it in the past, and for the health of her teeth, but she is allowed to have Tummy Yummies (a juice with less sugar, plus vitamins).
  4. Speaking of teeth, she’s had two cavities already. Yep, I still feel awful about it. But what are you gonna do? She has a filling, and might have to get another for the second cavity. Yes, I try to make sure we brush her teeth, but that shits hard, and sometimes it doesn’t get done right due to her crying and kicking me away. 
  5. She doesn’t have a bath EVERYDAY. Sometimes, especially being almost 9 months pregnant, I’m too tired to get her in the sink or fight with her about a bath/shower. It’s not like I let her grow mold or walk around stinking. But sometimes I just don’t give an eff if she goes to bed with dirty hands, hair and feet. There’s always tomorrow. 
  6. Sometimes I raise my voice, or give a swat on her butt if it comes to that. Everyone has different opinions on discipline. Some people are very against spanking and whatnot. If you can discipline your child without ever losing your shit, that’s great. But I don’t see anything wrong with a little butt swat or a firm voice when it’s needed. You don’t know how sassy my kid gets or how difficult she can be sometimes. So I discipline how I see fit for our little family. And honestly, I hardly ever use a spanking. But I have no problem using it. I grew up with very harsh punishments. And I know I would never use any of them on my children. I never even feel tempted to. So when people say spanking your kid makes them think hitting you or someone else is okay, you’re wrong. I was beaten with a belt, hanger, phone cord, etc. and never once hit my parents or anyone else. And that isn’t counting the abuse I endured. I can honestly say I have never even thought of using anything close to that on my child. 
  7. I don’t care if she eats dirt. God made dirt, dirt don’t hurt. The end.
  8. She hardly ever brushes her hair. I do not brush my hair. I have thick wavy hair that only frizzes when I attempt to put a brush through it. So, I don’t think I should be able to tell her she has to use a brush either. It’s nice to get it combed out, but it really doesn’t seem important to me if her hair is out of place.
  9. I don’t care about what clothes she wears. I usually let Rayne pick out her own clothes, if she chooses to wear clothes at all. Obviously, if we’re going out of the house she needs clothes. But if we’re staying in, I don’t care if she stays in jammies all day or runs around in her underwear. And when she does wear clothes, they usually don’t match. Who really cares? Since when is a child’s outfit important? I think letting her wear what she wants and choosing what she likes gives her independence, and lets her express herself how she chooses.
  10. I don’t have a bedtime for Rayne. Yep, that’s right. I don’t make her go to bed at any certain time. If she’s up till 11pm, oh well. Usually I will tell her she’s gotta start calming down and getting in bedtime mode, but I never force her to go to bed at a certain time. BFD

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These are only 10 reasons off the top of my head that make me SO NOT PERFECT. I’m sure there’s a lot more though. My point is, I’m willing to admit these things, and I can’t say that I actually feel bad about any of them. My child is never in harms way, she is healthy, smart, kind, and constantly impressing me with how quickly she learns. I don’t have any concerns about her development. So what she watches TV? So what she doesn’t eat broccoli? So what she’s usually dirty, has messy hair and stays up late? SO EFFING WHAT?! She’s my daughter, and she’s wonderful, despite all these terrible things I expose her to. 

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Here’s to kleenex, slippers, soup and hot beverages!

Over the past week, a cold has taken over our household. Infecting half of our population. Including Rayne and I. Sick toddler + sick mom = no sleep, irritability, crying, and used tissues EVERYWHERE. Also, watching a toddler vomit every time they cough too hard is not a pretty sight. I find myself slugging around in pajamas, slipper boots, and an over-sized Social Distortion hoodie, with pockets full of snotty tissues. While Rayne runs around in a simple attire of panties and a nightshirt, slipper boots optional. The thought of normal clothing and actually participating in life is exhausting enough, let alone attempting to do it. Therefore, I’m opting out until I have returned to better health. Besides, Rayne doesn’t mind my lazy apparel.

After days and days of cough medicine and natural remedies immune health drops, Rayne is just starting to sleep at night without being attacked by a painful, hacking cough. Still, it makes it’s random return throughout the day, but at least she’s getting some rest. I, on the other hand, find myself laying awake, night after night, long after I should have fallen quickly to sleep. A nice mixture of a scratchy throat, snotty nose, sinus headache and insomnia makes sure I’m not getting the rest I need to recover. So, as you can imagine, I’m dragging my 1/3 closed eyed carcass around, trying my best to live up to my motherly duties. Yeah….not so easy. Being sick always sucks, but being sick AND a mother, is just the worst and seems to drag on..and on.

Here’s to kleenex, slippers, soup and hot beverages! May they guide us through these trying times.

Serious Mom Guilt.

Everyone knows being a mom is tough business. No mother is perfect, we all make mistakes. We just have to forgive ourselves and move on, trying to improve along the way. But ‘Mom Guilt’ is not so easy to kick. Especially in first time moms, like yours truly. I try my best to forgive myself and just go with the flow. But I recently discovered some serious ‘Mom Guilt’ and am suffering to the point of borderline depression.

A few days ago I was trying to brush Rayne’s teeth, since she can’t do it correctly herself. While her head was tipped back and I was scrubbing those molars, I noticed one tooth was not coming clean. A cavity! DEVASTATION. There’s something you should know about me. I’m obsessed with healthy teeth. I have nightmares of cavities and rotting teeth. So when I found this my soul was crushed. It wasn’t just crushed because of the disgusting thought of a rotting tooth. It was mostly because MY daughter has one. How could I let this happen!?!? She’s only 2. This is terrible! It’s very difficult when I try not to allow so much candy and juice, but she gets spoiled rotten by everyone else around her. I can’t even count how many times I’ve told her no and her Grandma, Aunties or Papaw has given in to her behind my back. It’s very frustrating.

Even though I wasn’t joyfully handing her candy everyday and carelessly allowing her toothers to rot, I still feel horribly guilty. I can’t imagine my little one not being healthy. And definitely not on my watch! It’s a very bad feeling to know I wasn’t doing the best I could. And how embarrassing to look a dentist in the eye and tell him your toddler has a cavity! I’m dreading the dentist. I feel like I failed. Yes, I know. They’re just baby teeth, she’ll lose them and get new ones. That doesn’t make me feel better. When we were little, three of my sisters had to get their 4 front teeth pulled out at a very young age. They didn’t grow back until they were between 6 and 8. I could never forgive myself if anything of the sort happened to Rayne. I know I just have to deal with it and move on. But it’s a hard pill to swallow for me.

This may sound very silly to most people, especially if they aren’t parents. But it’s something that’s really getting me down.

Have you ever felt like a failure as a parent? How’d you get through it?

My heart might potentially explode.

Today I delighted in Rayne even more than usual. I love those moments. When you realize what an amazing child you have and how awful your life would be without them. Being around her and playing with her distracted me from my nerves. In the past week she’s started talking more than usual. I know everyone says “just wait until you can’t get her to shut up!”, but I really just love the sound of her voice. Now she’s starting to respond to people like a big kid. But she walks around with an attitude like she’s got some sort of authority. 

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She was really diggin’ her Burger King crown.

Today she came up to me and kept saying “papaw, papaw” which is what we call her grandpa. So I said, “Do you wanna see Papaw?” She said, “Yeah!” and got a big smile across her face. Then it dropped when I told her he wasn’t home so she’d have to wait. But then I asked her if she wanted me to take a picture of her and send it to him. She agreed.

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This is the picture she wanted to send him. She’s so goofy.

In her kids meal she got this little journal.

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I decided to leave her a little note.

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It reads, “Rayne, I love you more than all the atoms and molecules floating around in the universe! Love always, Your one and only Mommy.”

Sometimes I feel like I love my daughter so much it’s impossible to feel it all at once because it might just give me a heart attack. Then sometimes we get into a rut and there’s fits, messes, exhaustion and you forget how awesome this little human being is. Then they laugh, or hug you, or say thank you, or pick up their mess, or say they love you, and your eyes are opened to all that love that can potentially make your heart explode. She’s amazing, and I’m blessed.

Now I must sleep.

Are there any answers to terrible twos?

A couple days ago I posted about Rayne’s fit from hell, hoping I wouldn’t have to face another one for a while. But the next day (yesterday), she had about 6 of them. All over silly things. Not only are these situations frustrating and exhausting, they make me question my parenting.  

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I know these fits are normal, especially for her age. They don’t call it the “terrible twos” for nothing. But I can’t help but feel like people will judge my parenting by her fits. We all know how people are. Their kids are perfect and the second your’s aren’t, you don’t parent right and your child is a brat. I know my daughter is a sweet, and smart little girl. But when a stranger only sees your child hitting you and screaming, obviously they think you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Last night Rayne asked for some ice cream. I got her a little bowl with only two small scoops. She didn’t want to take the bowl. So I added more and decided I wanted some too, so we’d just share. When I sat down, Rayne wanted to hold the whole bowl of ice cream. I said no because there was a good amount in there and I knew she would dump it out. So I told her she can have bites, but will not be holding the bowl. She immediately burst into tears and screaming. She went and sat in a corner yelling, “No way!!”. It went on for about 10 minutes, and she couldn’t even stop long enough for one bite of ice cream. After that incident she refused to be around me. She had my mom hold her until she fell asleep.

Although fits are normal, I have seen people with children who behave so amazingly well, you’d think they were robots or something. Does our parenting play a part in how our children express their anger and frustration? I’ve always had a terrible temper, is it hereditary? How do we teach our children better communication skills? Do they just grow out of it?

I guess my questions and worries are normal for a first time mom. But if there are any answers, please let me in on them!!

Toddlers are gross.

One thing I’ve learned from having a toddler: They’re disgusting. 

They do the grossest stuff, and it’s terribly difficult to watch them eat.

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This is Rayne eating chicken fried steak today. I was glad she was actually eating, but it was nauseating to see.

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They will smear anything on their face and eat anything. The photo above is Rayne eating popcorn, with her foot in the bowl. And she doesn’t even think it’s gross!

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Even brushing her teeth has to be yucky. She spends a lot of time chewing in it rather than actually cleaning her teeth. Her drool will run down her chin and onto her shirt. It doesn’t seem to bother her at all.

I love my disgusting daughter, though.