Parent vs Parent

So I read a blog the other day about “Helicopter Mum you’re ruining it for everyone else.” Criticised the mums playing with the kids at the park while other mums watched. And today it was “Don’t judge me, bench mum.” Which was basically a self defence explanation calling for understanding from other mums by a so-called helicopter mum. One line in particular resonated with me; she said something along the lines of “and I may end up playing with your kid too, because they come over. That’s ok with me and I will look over to you every now and then, not because I’m judging you but so you know I’m not some sick pervert.

And I thought wow. How backward have we gone that some woman (or many women) feel the need to explain playing with their kid and making eye contact with another mum?? As a people, have we become so egotistical that we imagine every look, every conversation, every article or comment is negatively motivated and somehow directed at us? We feel so attacked, so often, and stand up for ourselves so vigorously – but maybe we are lighting fires just to see smoke.

Maybe parents everywhere should start assuming the best of each other, rather than the worst. “Oh look at that mum looking at me all the time. She must love my sweater.” Or: “That dad keeps watching me playing with the kids. He obviously is enjoying watching us all have fun together.”

Cause, after all, maybe that IS what said mum or dad is thinking. Or something nicer. Or maybe they aren’t thinking of you at all – maybe they’re daydreaming about a wonderful meal they had or book they read and you just happen to be in their (blank) line of sight.

And by jumping up and defending your right to hover/not hover/facebook/feed organic/attachment parent/free range parent/breastfeed/formula feed, aren’t you just kind of alluding to a fact that there’s something that needs defending? When in fact there isn’t?

Your choices, as long as they cause no deliberate harm or restrict the freedom of others, are your business. In these kinds of things, particularly, are no one else’s business and most likely, no one else is probably paying too much attention. So shake it off, mind your own business, assume the best of others and feel less judged. Take a deep breath and offer a smile instead of a suspicious, narrow-eyed self defensive sideways look. You may just get an agenda free smile in return.

And if you don’t and you really are facing a McJudgy…who cares. If you are happy with your choice and your child is healthy and happy then be confident enough in that to laugh off the judgement and feel pity for them. Your life is so full that you feel no need to dwell on the little inconsequential choices of others and feel sorry for them that they aren’t there yet.

And then smile at them again…. cause after all nothing annoys those types more than realising you just don’t care what they think.

Have a nice day all!

x S

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The good times

Dear me,

I’m so good at dishing out advice regarding the trials to come, the rough spots to smooth, the sadness, uncertainty and pain to beat. But it’s not all like that.

Tonight, our little lady was unhappy after she was put to bed, which is unusual. Normally, she rolls onto her side playing with her two dummies [yep, dummies, bloody love them] and drifts contentedly off to sleep.

Not tonight. She whinged. Then she cried. I went in and did a quick resettle and left. She did NOT appreciate that! Crying escalated. Went back in and grabbed her up, sat in the rocker and had some cuddles. She quieted immediately and snuggled into me.

It was a sweet, silent, loving moment. We hugged and snuggled and I kissed her brow and told her how much I loved her. She stared up at me and her eyes said ‘I love you too mamma’.

And then I put her back into her cot and with one more kiss, left the room and she rolled onto her side and drifted off to sleep.

I could have let her cry a bit [I have plenty of times] because nothing was really wrong. I didn’t have to go in. But I’m so glad I did. It’s one of those times I know I’ll remember when she no longer needs cuddles and snuggles from me. I’ll remember, and I’ll be so glad I went in and held her to my heart.

And next time she whinges at bedtime, maybe I won’t go in, I’ll let her settle herself, and that will be ok too. I will know, in my soul, what she really needs and what I should do.

There are these amazing, self affirming, love-filled moments that are happening too. It’s just brilliant. They make me [you] feel so confident in your ability to be her amazing mother. So, so spot on, and so sure that you know your baby better than anyone else. So, rejoice. It’s not all spew and poop and feeling out of your depth.

I promise.

x S

Days of feeling lost and useless

Dear me,

I wish I didn’t have to write this one. I wish I could say that by this point, 13mths into motherhood, these days had stopped. That it was all sunshine and roses and poop [let’s face it, poop is here to stay!]

But I am painfully and uncomfortably honest. The days where you wonder what the hey you are doing, when you feel listless, lost, useless… When it kind of feels like you’re out of your depth in every aspect of your life. And when you look at your amazing little girl and feel that level of disconnect that confuses and scares you because you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she is yours in every way and forever.

Those days still happen. And it’s still shit.

But. Yes, there is a but! By now, the days are few and far between. They are not the majority of your life. And you are much better at handling them. You know in some part of your mind and heart what they are and you keep reminding yourself that ‘this, too, shall pass.’

And it will, I promise. So, take heart, be strong, and be kind to you. You are doing wonderfully as a mum. You are contributing just as much to your family as the parent who works a paid job. You and he are both equally important and valuable and intrinsic to the beautiful family you are.

You are loved.

x S

Its ok to hit women so long as you’re famous.

This will be short, my little girl is due to wake up soon. But I need to get this off my chest.

This weekend just gone, there was a MASSIVE, IMPORTANT, very very profitable boxing match held in Las Vegas. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were paid around $180m and $120m respectively to beat the shit out of each other. (Yes, that’s million. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY MILLION).

Anyway, my gripe isn’t with boxing.  I appreciate the skill that is required in this sport.  Box on.  I was even quite interested in the fight and the outcome. Shame on me. It never occurred to me that by being interested, and further that by supporting (through gambling on the fight, cause guess where that money goes) these two men, as many people around the world did, we were saying ‘beating women up is OK.’

Floyd Mayweather has been convicted SEVEN times for assault against 5 different women. He has served 2 months of a 6 month (3mths suspended) sentence for beating on the mother of two of his children, while those children watched. His 10-year-old son ran for help to stop Mayweather hurting his mother.

Yet he is celebrated.  The excuses are many – that this is a separate part of his life, that he has given money to charity, that he is a champion at his sport. Yet, how does that excuse what he does in his day to day life?  Can I be a good person and then, every now and then, go strangle a puppy and use the excuse that I am ‘usually‘ good?  I make a regular donation to an animal shelter so its OK that the other day, when I was mad, I punched a 2 year old in the face. That was only one day, right?

Wrong. If anything, the fact that he is a professional fighter makes his assaults against non-professional fighters even worse. He is using his skills and training and (I assume) superior strength and fitness to inflict pain, injury and humiliation on another who cannot hope to defend themselves adequately.

To those who persist in wanting to separate the ‘man’ from the ‘boxer’, I say this: imagine how hard Mayweather can punch.  And then imagine your mothers, your wife or girlfriends, your sisters, or god forbid, your daughters face being the receiving surface of that punch.  I dare you to actually imagine it.

Feel so blase about his ‘private’ activities still?

Violence against women is nothing new and as long as we keep on supporting and celebrating men like Mayweather, it will go on being an acceptable part of our world.

Its as simple as refusing to to give money towards these guys.  Don’t promote them and admire them.  If we, as the consumer, stopped buying the product, then it would fail and be removed from the shelf.

I don’t want my daughter to be a victim of a violent assault from a man who thinks its no big deal cause the world at large seems OK with it being done by famous people.  I submit Chris Brown vs Rhianna.

I implore you all to educate yourselves and form your own opinion and stop making excuses for unprovoked and unnecessary violence.  For all our sakes.

x S