Please repeat after me:
• I shall maintain a sense of humor about all things motherhood, for without it, I recognize that I may end up institutionalized. Or, at the very least, completely miserable.
Oh a sense of humor... this is something I've had to develop very early on. Porter was....is... a handful. He has debunked every parenting philosophy I've ever had and humbled me to the core. The situations he's brought to this house could only leave us laughing, as doing anything else would only drive us further crazy.
• I shall not judge the mother in the grocery store who, upon entering, hits the candy aisle and doles out M&Ms to her screaming toddler. It is simply a survival mechanism.
• I shall not compete with the mother who effortlessly bakes from scratch, purees her own baby food, or fashions breathtaking costumes from tissue paper. Motherhood is not a competition. The only ones who lose are the ones who race the fastest.
Pinterest brings out the best and the worst in moms. Great moms end up feeling insufficient in the wake of Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart, and it really shouldn't be that way. None of us have it "all together" no matter how much it may seem we do. I promise.
• I shall shoot the parents of the screaming newborn on the airplane looks of compassion rather than resentment. I am fortunate to be able to ditch the kid upon landing. They, however, are not.
I've been there... the parent of the screaming toddler on the airplane, with nowhere else to go but pray that the door opens up 10,000 feet in the air and sucks you out. It sucks. Literally. Thank God for compassionate people.
• I shall never ask any woman whether she is, in fact, expecting. Ever.
Porter had a nurse at Motts and I swear to goodness she was pregnant... but I did not make one mention to it. No way. Too risky! Besides, I could pass off as a preggo lately anyhow!
• I shall not question the mother who is wearing the same yoga pants, flip-flops and t-shirt she wore to school pickup the day before. She has good reason.
Even if the only good reason is that she is lazy and is "only leaving the house to pick up kids" because .. that is so me. Only, I usually have pajama pants on (from the wrong season) and baby food, snot and spit up on my shirt.
• I shall never claim to know everything about any child but my own. (Who still remain a mystery to me.)
This could not be any more truer than it states. Every stinkin' child is so different... has different likes, wants, needs, preferences... and my own 3 leave me baffled on a daily basis. If I can't figure out my own kids, what makes me think I could figure out someone else's?
• I shall hold the new babies belonging to friends and family, so they may shower and nap, which is all any new mother really wants.
• I shall attempt to not pass down my own messed up body issues to my daughter. She deserves a mother who loves and respects herself; stretch marks, cellulite and all.
This will be a hard one for me. I'm not happy with my body. I probably make comments I shouldn't make about myself. It is definitely something I need to change. I want my children (not just daughter!) to love and respect their bodies for who they are. I want them to know that the person inside is what counts... not how they look on the outside.
• I shall not preach the benefits of breastfeeding or circumcision or home schooling or organic food or co-sleeping or crying it out to a fellow mother who has not asked my opinion. It’s none of my damn business.
Amen is all I have to say. What works for one mom/family may not work for the next. Regardless, your kid will grow up just fine. I highly doubt they'll be sleeping with you as a high schooler, dumb and sickly because you formula fed, emotionally scarred because you let them cry it out. It's all relavant.
• I shall try my hardest to never say never, for I just may end up with a loud-mouthed, bikini clad, water gun shooting toddler of my very own.
Ohhh another one of those debunked philosophy. When Porter was little I was so anti-play-gun in our house. Couldn't stand the thought of a toddler/preschooler playing with guns. But whenever we went to friends' houses that had play guns... what did my kid run straight for? The play guns. He's like a magnet to them. And now? He loves nerf guns, play rifles, pistols and bb guns (all pretend/play toys). On his Christmas list this year? A real shotgun and a real pistol. Right. His newest phrase when something cool happens? "Shotgun!" (whaaat??) Yes, I never wanted my kids to like guns, to play with guns or have toy guns. But we have them all over the house.
• I shall remember that no mother is perfect and my children will thrive because, and sometimes even in spite, of me.