Hi all! I’m super excited about today’s post, the Rocking Motherhood Challenge. Like, seriously. I was nominated by Meghna Dixit over at Love, Life, & The Little One to join this fantastic challenge to come up with 10 reasons that I’m “rocking motherhood”. Her Rocking Motherhood post is inspirational and heartfelt; I seriously encourage you to read it. It warmed my soul. From there, you can work your way back through a ton of other Rocking Motherhood posts, and your whole day can be made. Seriously. Check it out.
It should go without saying, but the reason I’m so excited about this challenge is that it’s so refreshing and just awesome to build ourselves up as mothers instead of tearing ourselves down. It’s a hard, hard job, and I think for most moms, myself included, we’re our own harshest critics. The good news is that we are all great mothers in many ways, way more than just 10 reasons in a blog post.
Here’s what I’ve come up with:
I worry about not rocking motherhood.
Every single day, without fail, I feel like a bad mom. I fail my daughter in one way or another every. single. day. That guilt sucks; it sucks a lot. But the silver lining is that it means that I care enough about her and her well-being to even consider the possibility that I could be a bad mom. My own mom told me, “Bad moms don’t worry about being bad moms,” and I think this is really true.
I worry about everything.
I swore it would never happen, but I’ve somehow become a helicopter mom. Aside from worrying about my mom guilt, I worry about the tiniest little things she does. If she rubs her ear, I think it’s an ear infection. If she falls down, I worry that she’s broken her leg. When she does something she’s never done before, I stand inches away from her to catch her if she falls. It’s ridiculous and I’m working on it, but again the silver lining is that I care enough about her to worry. I’m attuned (albeit too highly) to her needs and safety.
I’m her mama bear.
This one isn’t ridiculous, and I refuse to work on it. Okay, fine, it gets a little out of control sometimes, too, but I’m still not going to work on it. Sorry, not sorry. Nobody messes with my daughter. Mess around with her to make her mad, tease her, that’s all fine; I do that myself. But if someone (or something) sets out to intentionally cause her harm? HELL NO. Two examples:
- I once witnessed another little kid fighting with AJ at daycare when I picked her up (they were both under 18 months at this point), and I had to fight the urge to go nuts on this poor defenseless child. I know there are two sides to every story, and my little “princess” had probably [almost definitely] started the fight before I walked in, but I was mad nonetheless. To this day, I give that other toddler the stink eye every time I see her. It this fair? No, it definitely isn’t. Am I going to work on my feelings? Nope.
- We also have a habitual offender living under our own roof: the cat. There’s no “probably” or “maybe” about this one–AJ does get pretty rough with ol’ Kitty. AJ assumes that all furry creatures like to be “patted” with the force and velocity of a small car and ends up beating the pudding out of the cat. She is also a fan of picking the cat up by her fur, so I will grudgingly admit that Kitty’s distaste for AJ is reasonable. What isn’t reasonable is Kitty still making a point to sit by AJ even though Kitty knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that she’s going to take some abuse, then not leaving the abuse but hanging around until she gets really angry and bites. If she thought AJ was coming at her with the force and velocity of a small car, Momma is going to come at her with the force and velocity of a speeding train. Not in my house! Even if AJ is the instigator, that cat better watch her back.
I’m an angry feminist for her.
I’m not going to apologize for this, either. No, no, no, I’m not. My husband and I both get really fired up about women’s issues because of little AJ. I work from home; I cook, clean, raise babies (well, only one for right now), so I’m not a shining example of what most people consider women’s independence. But I’m still independent, and I want all women to do whatever the F they want, even more so now that I have a daughter. The choice to be home cooking and cleaning was my own, not one imposed on me by my husband or society. I don’t want AJ to have to work ten times harder to be taken seriously when she’s a grown-up, or worry about wearing something revealing, or any of the other issues that still face women in our world simply because of their genitalia.
I teach her life skills by setting a good example.
Like cleaning. No, that doesn’t oppose what I just said. Women and men both eventually have to spread their wings and go out into the world at large, and it’s important to be prepared. I’m actually amazed at what AJ has picked up on by watching me. Her favorite thing to do is throw stuff away, and I catch her a lot picking her toys or laundry up. She has even picked up on putting the dishes away, although in her mind everything goes in the silverware drawer. She doesn’t single-handedly clean the house (yet), but she blows me away with stuff like that!
I’m pretty…fairly…sort of patient.
Okay, I have my days that I yell or cave to tantrums. But I have become so much more patient since having AJ. I’m actually amazed at how much BS I can take from such a small person.
I feed her good food.
This one has really surprised me, too. I’m not a master of healthy eating myself, but I actually do really well serving her nutritious food. Whether or not she will eat it is a different question, but every meal I serve her has all of the food groups and all that business. I’ve cut out a lot of processed foods, though I still don’t spring for “organic”, nor am I above the occasional trip to McDonald’s.
I don’t say no a lot.
It’s true; I don’t. I pick my battles, and as long as she’s not hurting herself or someone else, I let her have pretty much free reign, within reason of course. If she wants to stand in the bathroom flushing the toilet all afternoon, I let her. If she wants to go through every bottle of nail polish I own and shake them or inspect them, she can have at it. Part of it, of course, is that I don’t want to deal with tantrums, but part of it also that I just don’t want to be a jerk. As I’ve mentioned, oh, about a billion times, she is strong-willed, and I don’t want to stifle that. I can’t.
I say no sometimes.
I’m a walking contradiction today! I do say no sometimes. I say, “No, AJ, I’m sorry, but you can’t have a snack five minutes before dinner.” “No, you can’t turn the stove on.” “No, AJ, you can’t…” whatever other ridiculous thing toddlers can get into a thousand times a day. She has some boundaries, and that teaches her respect for both people and rules.
I nurture her creativity and personality.
Did I mention that my daughter is strong-willed? She gives not a single f*** about what anyone thinks, and she wants what she wants. I admire that so much about her that I do whatever I can to embrace it. Again, aside from setting reasonable boundaries, I’m not going to stifle her. We color on the dishwasher (with washable markers, don’t get your panties in a bunch) and dance in the grocery store and sing in the bathtub. She wears underwear “necklaces” and puts on her own lipstick. We make messes, and we make her poor dad want to rip his hair out. But we have a lot of fun together, and that’s what counts.
- Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.
- List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10. I really don’t mind.
- Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
- Grab the #RockingMotherhgood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.
And here’s the HTML, should you need it: <div style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”http:whitecamellias.com” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://whitecamellias.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/rockingmotherhood-1.png” title=””>