It’s been a little while since we caught up, hasn’t it? Not much new going on at the old homestead, except the getting used to this new little being we’ve been blessed with.
There might not be a lot physically going on here, but mentally I’ve broken threw an amazing wall that’s been up for quite some time now. Those walls, those damn walls. That’s half of the battle of parenting, isn’t it? Hitting walls so hard you would swear you felt your brain shift in your skull when it happened. But then, what do we do, even though it might take a while we take out our trusty jack hammer of understanding and acceptance and plow through it. Our brain and spirit can’t take it any more and we need to send a little mental Ronald Regan up their to say,
“Psyche? Tear down this wall.”
Well, it’s happened with me and I need to share it in the hopes that maybe by doing so, I might be handing over a little mental chisel to some other parent who might want to start hacking away at their own bricks for a while.
Here’s my wall.
The sea of moms. Did you know reader, that there is a sea of moms all around us, all the time? I know, it’s like Haley Joel Osmond in the “Sixth Sense”, “I see moms… all the time.” I wasn’t at all aware of The Sea of Moms until I had children of my own and then I became instantly aware.
What is The Sea of Moms? It’s the ever expanding network of mothers and parents in general that, like fish are all different in their own way.
So my wall came about every time I would “go fishing”, i.e. have a playdate or stumble across another parent out and about, and pull up a parent with different parenting styles than I had. Instantly the wall would shoot up in front of me, I began to question all of the things that I had been doing so far. I would begin to think that maybe I should be changing how I do things during the day, my energy with the kids, the activities that we do, everything.
Then one day, I was sitting at the table with my son and we were laughing about one of the many little inside jokes that he and I share and there was my little mental Ronald Regan with his microphone.
“Meredith, tear down this wall.”
I began to understand while laughing with my son that he’s happy. My daughter smiles at me because she’s happy. The life that my husband and I have made for them has made them happy and they are who they are because of it.
I used to see houses that didn’t contain television sets and think, oh man, I’m doing this wrong. My son watches television from time to time and the snacks that he eats weren’t made from whole wheat flour or by my own hands most of the time. They contain ingredients that I can’t pronounce and dyes that might strip the wax off floors. I formula fed my son from five and a half months on and my daughter has never been exclusively breast fed.
I laugh about farting with my son, love how he dances to “Step in Time” while watching “Mary Poppins”, could stand forever and watch him smell candles at Hannafords and would rather be outside walking with them than cleaning my house. I have movie posters from “Dumb and Dumber”, “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” and “Jaws” up in my living room and I fully plan on letting my children see those movies once they’re a little older. I worry. I worry all time about them and if I’m doing the right things, but I’m me. That’s me.
I know that if I changed the game plan, started trying to fit myself into a mothering mold that I thought was better for my children, I would come to realize that it would be for not. My children need ME for a mother, not a fake version.
It’s funny, we hear it all time as parents. Our children are who they are from the moment they come into the world. Their personality is set. Maybe it’s true of being a parent as well. The moment those little people are put in our care, our parenting personality is set. Oh sure, we can tweak things, try to be more patient, provide more vegetables with each meal, but the core of us. The ideals that we have for our children, the way interact and the goals we have for them are set.
And this is why there are so many awesomely different types of people in the world for our children to grown up around.
So that’s my wall reader and though there will be more, those are the joys of parenting, this one has crumbled finally. And if you should find yourself out there adrift in The Sea of Moms, try going fishing and you’ll see that even though you have silver spots and a brown tail and that fish you caught has blue stripes and a red dorsal fin, you’re both fish trying to navigate the waters the best and only way you know how.