Thursday, November 7, 2013

This is ourselves under pressure...

I often find myself crumbling under the weight of what it means to be a parent.  There is a lot of pressure in the world to be a good parent.  It starts long before you see those two little lines on a stick.

I think, it happens the first time you see or hear about a kid doing something and think - I'll never let my kids do that.  Or, the first time you see or hear about a parent doing something and think - That'll never be me.

For me, it's when I think of the sheer volume of things I'm expected to teach my son in the two-ish decades he will live under my roof.  Shapes, colors, words, concepts.  Manners, gratitude, respect, the difference between right and wrong.  Faith, hope, love.

It's overwhelming.  And the own pressure I put on myself, a perfectionist at heart, is enough for me to cry sometimes.

And then, there's this unachievable perfection that I feel we're sometimes held up to.
And mostly?  By other moms.

Stay home with your kids, don't let someone else raise them.
Send your kids to the best preschool so they are speaking 3 languages and doing long division by kindergarten.
Feed them only organic, gluten-free, local food.
Don't ever, under any circumstances, let them watch television.
Breastfeed them until they're five and do it on the cover of a magazine.
And, most recently, this:

Something else unattainable that we are now expected to do.
Mrs. Kang is gorgeous.  (Duh.)  She has three gorgeous kids.  She's the founder of a non-profit.  From what I gather via Facebook and the media storm that has followed her, she's a pretty impressive woman.
And yet, she's reduced herself to just this.
Another mom judging the rest of us for being too lazy and not good enough.

Something HAS to give.

If NMOTB stands for anything as a blog, it's just that we start accepting each other.  Because the anxiety of being a parent is hard enough as it is.  In fact, I've found it actually debilitating at times.  I don't know where to begin when I describe how earth shattering it can be to imagine you are in charge of another human's life and well being.  So, when I see stuff like that - I honestly get HULKRAGE-y about it and want to break my computer.

Why can't we just support each other?  Why do we need an "excuse" for anything we do as parents.  Neither of my parents had washboard abs - and yet, I still turned out okay.

In fact, I successfully managed to lose 50 lbs. this year and somehow, it didn't really change who I was as a parent at all.  (And my abs still don't look like that.)

And moreover, if I have any excuse for not looking like that, it's because sometimes (more times than not lately, actually) I skip my afternoon run so that I can start dinner and sit down to eat it with my family.  And because it just wouldn't look natural on me.

And because sometimes I look down at the stretch marks on my belly and the loose skin that I lovingly refer to as "a butt in the front" and it reminds me of the life I grew in there.  Of all of the little nudges and kicks I felt for all those months.

And that's when the anxiety isn't so bad.  Because it doesn't matter that I don't look like a swimsuit model.  Because I look like a mom.

photo credit: Rosser Photography

And I like that look better anyway.


  1. This was so needed today. Thank you Amanda!

  2. Outstanding post!! Thank you so much for sharing.


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