with Talyaa Liera
I'm Talyaa, the poster child for the concept that there's no one right way to be a parent. I went from stay-at-home attachment-parenting mom of four to being the non-custodial parent, working as a professional writer and channel-psychic. Let's talk about throwing away the parenting manual and exploding the myths and mystique of motherhood!
Check out my personal blog at Juxtapositioning.
I saw something on Twitter yesterday that kind of tweaked me the wrong way. It was a tweet, or actually a short series of tweets, from a women who I know to be strong, savvy, and businesslike. She’s an author, consultant, and CEO of a business. She’s just the sort of working mom we all tend to aspire to being. But here she was, falling all over herself and wracked with Mommy Guilt because her worklife got in the way of her homelife and she failed to show up at a Kid Thing (and more than once) that she knew the kid was passionate about.
Can we please get rid of it once and for all? Why are we so caught up in the cult of guilt?
I admit, I am not immune to guilt. I am living an unorthodox mommyhood situation (my children’s father has primary custody and I mother from afar) that gives me cause for plenty of wallowing moments. But hey, I OWN my guilt (which means I write about it). Awesome. Cough.
Okay, so this Twitter mom was probably just shouting out a momentary GARRRRGH to the universe. She’s probably not lying face down on the floor right now and beating her forehead to a bloody pulp. In fact I just saw her tweet about the dentist. But even that momentary guilt is unnecessary, isn’t it?
But we can’t seem to get away from it. It’s everywhere we look.
Google “mommy guilt” and you get 804,000 responses that include books, how-not-to articles, workshops by famous mommy bloggers, and blogs with the phrase “mommy guilt” in the title.
(Yes, I am painfully aware that I have added to the critical mass of Interwebs Mommy Guilt.)
So where does this come from? Someone glib would probably say it comes from a desire for perfection. I dunno, is that it, really? After all, we see through the brittle shell of perfection that Betty Draper wears around her like pink Playtex armor on “Mad Men.”
My version of perfect motherhood was a cross between what I knew from my own mom (and resisted mightily) and the attachment parenting model I created that demanded that I submerge my personality inside the perfect image I created around me. If that isn’t a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is. I couldn’t be my mom. I didn’t want to be my mom. As good a mother as I was, my ideal was always better. My ideal spoke quietly. My ideal smiled all the time. My ideal was peaceful. My ideal didn’t mind spills on the floor. No, it had children WHO DID NOT EVEN SPILL. How’s that for perfect parenting?
So all this leads me to surmise that maybe it’s not mommy guilt that’s the issue here, but it’s more that we second guess our choices and don’t trust our own strengths as parents. Our children are important to us. We want them to have good lives and grow up to be happy people. And, like trying to hold onto a soap bubble, we think they’re fragile beings who are scarred for life when we have human moments.
I think that parenting is one thing where you really do get points for trying hard. Truly being the best parent you can be — at least in a given moment, which means being able to let go of regretting the less than perfect moments so you can learn from them — is much better than being robotically perfect.
At least, that’s what I tell myself in the mirror. I’m good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!
Where does guilt fit in your parenting picture?
[Image: Sammylee on stock.xchng]
Subscribe to blog via RSS