Sunday, April 22, 2012

What type of Mom are you?

Parenting. The only job in the world that has no real training PRIOR to becoming one. You don't even need a license to parent. You need a license for damn near everything else. You need a license to fish and hunt. You need a license to operate a motor vehicle. Actually, you have different types of licenses depending on the vehicle you want to operate: car, motorcycle, commercial vehicle.

You need to be licensed to practice law, to teach and to even fly an airplane (grateful for that one). Also thankfully they license those who take care of our health ie. doctors, surgeons, nurses.  That's always plus!

I am by no means suggesting that the government should step in and start dictating parenting or who/how one can have a child. Lord knows the government can't fix its own House let alone dictate to me what's wrong in mine. I merely use that to draw a comparison that you can f*ck up a person's life forever, and never had any training otherwise. Much like a government official can f*ck up an entire nation in four years with little to no training. But I digress....

It's my belief that this is the reason parents are willing to dispense so freely with advise on how to parent. You never walk up to your attorney and tell him/her how to win your case. You never go to your doctor's appointment ready to lay out your own diagnosis. We never tell a teacher what and how they should be... scratch that. Parents do it all the time. Pisses me off that parents....oh nevermind. I used to be the indignant teacher, now I am the bitchy parent. But....

I digress again...Point is we so eagerly tell other parents how to raise their children, most times withouth being solicited for this free advice. This is especially true with women who are pregnant for the first time. Every other mom has a tip or ten on every topic from breastfeeding, to getting the baby to sleep through the night, to holding the baby too much, to not holding the baby enough, what type of diapers to purchase and what kind of stroller is top notch. You know what I say to all this advice?

Piss off!

Every person has their views on how to raise a child. These views are much like farts. Yours are completely tolerable (unless you had a good hearty chili for lunch- chock full of beans, then not so much). Other's farts are completely unbearable. (This adage applies to everything from opinions to actual children themselves.) The inspiration for this post came from a friend who was trying to comfort another friend who's Facebook was being inundated with messages about her upcoming, albeit past due, delivery date. I believe Krista (my friend) summed it up best in the overall jist of the message: don't worry about all the advice and just worry about what kind of mum you want to be. (Yes Krista is British!)

Here is what she had to say:

"You'll soon learn, there are different " breeds of mum"

1. Alpha mum- who lives her life through her kids, who can't bare the thought of her snot nosed lil shit getting beat on sports day.

2. Earth mum (aka scruffy mad delusional nutter) - feeds kids on grass (organic of course) and soya milk, prevents their kids even havin a slice of cake at a birthday party coz she convinced the E number devil is the CEO of cadburys!

3. Yummy mummy- well I can only think of one word to define...... BITCH! How dare she walk out of cygnet (maternity) wing in size 6 jeans when the rest of us waddle out feeling like a lactating moose that's just been kicked in the vag'!

Last but certainly not least....... THE SLUMMY MUM....I can relate to this one, YES I have sat through kids assembly to notice that I do infact have yesterday's knickers (panties) scrunched up in the bottom of my jeans because school run in the morning doesn't always go as precise as you'd planed! This mum admitts to not being perfect but try's her fuckin best,loves her kids and just "gets on with it" !"

I love this! So true, and most days I am The Slummy Mummy. Driving my kid to the bus stop in my workout clothes and hair in a messy bun.  Somedays I cook, and other days we consume a cornucopia of leftovers from the week's meas. But I do try my best, even when I fall miserably short of the mark. 

I can also think of several other types of Moms you might want to avoid becoming. Here 
are mine:

1. "I can do it all!" Mom- This mom is involved in all the committees known to her and the community. She is an active PTA parent, serves on the school improvement board, is a Sunday school teacher, and manages to be a Scout leader as well. She is an excellent baker and chef, and every meal is home cooked with only the freshest of ingredients acquired that morning from the local farmer's market. She is also delusional. Because there are just not enough hours in the day to be this good. Believe me  I have tried. 

2. "Not my child!" Mom- This is the mom who believes that her child is NEVER wrong. Her child is a victim of circumstances, bad teachers, bullying, teasing, or just being overly tired or under-medicated. This is the child who reaches their teens not being able to accept responsibility for their actions. As a former high school teacher, these were often times the worst parents to deal with and the most childish 17 year olds. This Mom is doing her child and society a HUGE disservice. Failure isn't the worst your child will have happen to them in their lives. 

3. OCD Mom- She means well, but her execution is off the mark. She is obsessive about cleaning, wiping, dusting off and generally keeping the kids in doll like status. (This was my mom.) This mom doesn't want her children's clothes to be soiled and so these kids sit and act like little doll babies instead of running around ape shit in the yard. Sadly her kids still get sick, and walk through mud puddles on their way home, on purpose. Worst part is that these moms create little OCD minis. 

4. Run around Mom- This mom believes the more activities their child is in the more well rounded they will be. She runs them from dance classes to piano lessons to language classes to gymnastics. These children have such a scheduled life that they have to pencil in play time, and then only if mom can squeeze it in. Of course provided it doesn't conflict with anything else on the schedule. This mom has a calendar, planner, electronic back up and even an assistant. These kids are smart, and can do tons of cool shit, but they tend to have that zombie look on their face as they get shuttled from activity to activity.

The truth is that most of us moms have a little bit of all of these in us. The key is to balance them in just the right doses. That is truly the hardest part of being a mom.

Knowing your child, and having the presence of mind to reflect on your parenting is a tough but necessary tool. Just because you are a parent doesn't mean you always have to know what you are doing. Don't be afraid to step back and take a look at it from the outside. Also don't be afraid to adjust your parenting style for each child. Every child is different and what works for one might not work for another. When all else fails try, try again. It's the reason God gives you more than one child. If you screw up on the first one, you always have a do-over hence the second or third child. ;)

Oh and if you don't know yet, you'll find out in your child's teens that you don't know shit about shit. Just ask my teen. I have only gotten dumber with experience. 

Share your parenting experiences, good and bad! It's always good to hear that you are not alone in the black hole of Parenting. 

Lastly, a very special THANK YOU! to my lovely mate, Krista. Whom without her wit and comical self this post would not be possible. Thanks for the inspiration Bootman! :)

Krista and I in Edinburgh. Holy Socks, Bootman!

*like it when you it when you comment!*

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