Whole Parenting Family

Reminder: You’re a Great Mother

Obviously my child is unattended. Seen here about to be eaten by our 6 pound Siamese cat.

Did everyone see this HuffPo article out yesterday? It was viral in my newsfeed on Facebook. Of course, that’s probably because of all the mom groups I’m part of (yes, I’m that mom on Facebook).

It’s by Amy Morrison, blogger at Pregnant Chicken, entitled “Why You’re Never Failing as a Mother.” See it here. She’s clever and funny. She talks about all the insanely over-the-top things you’re supposed to be an expert in/amazing at as a mother, while mothering, and probably while working. Two things hit me from the article:

1) How much our family culture has changed:

“If you think about it, if you had a baby thousands, if not hundreds of years ago, you would have had your mother, all your sisters (all of whom were probably lactating) and your nieces all taking care of your baby. They would help with food preparation, show you how to manage and make sure your baby wasn’t eaten by a bear. Your kid’s feet probably wouldn’t have touched the ground until they themselves would be able to carry around an infant.”

Where are our families? Where’s the intergenerational help? We have smaller families now-a-days, to be sure, and autonomy is number one! I want to live in my own house without anyone telling me what to do, or commenting on how I do it. (It meaning eat, raise kids, do laundry, practice or fail to practice personal hygiene, etc). So everyone has their own their very own lives. Lonely!

I live with family. It’s unusual. I’m surprised it’s unusual. It’s amazing. We all have made sacrifices, but in the beginning and the end, intergenerational living is where it’s at. I’m telling you. It’s not for everyone or every family, and CERTAINLY not another thing to feel guilty about. But consider where everyone’s money and time go. Then think of how grandparents can watch your children if you share a living arrangement. Think of the joy you’re giving back to them. Think of what your children will gain from adoring, attentive grandparents who don’t have to, oh-I-don’t-know, do everything under the sun AND provide personal interruption-less attention to their child/ren.

I’m inspired by the grandparenting I do see around me. Aunts, beloved family friends, neighbors who babysit regularly, travel to help when a child out of town has a baby, have extra car seats & boosters in their own cars for the days they do daycare pickup, help their kids keep the babies away from bears. Keep up the amazing love, grandmamas & grandpapas, and aunties & uncles.

Special note to my own amazing sister who’s been helping our other sister & child out for TWO MONTHS, living with her out of town. Talk about giving!

2) The list of things we’re supposed to be doing is pretty funny.

“Feeling like you also need to keep on top of scrapbooking, weight loss, up-cycled onesies, handprints, crock pot meals, car seat recalls, sleeping patterns, poo consistency, pro-biotic supplements, swimming lessons, electromagnetic fields in your home and television exposure is like trying to knit on a rollercoaster . . . .”

What about: perfect makeup for under eye bags, drycleaned clothing, a clean house, a very romantic relationship with lots of cool dates, children in every sport (different from their siblings), and having a coherent opinion on all current events.

And electromagnetic fields, waaa? I’m clearly behind on this one. And scrapbooking. I hate scrapbooks. I had also never thought to do anything with kids’ hand or foot or anything prints. Ha! Here’s what my “should” list entails:

Children feel loved. Partner feels loved. You feel loved. Spiritual replenishment regularly. Homemade food regularly. Moving your body for health regularly (does washing the floor count? yes!). That’s it.

Who, me? Harassing the cat? Never!

But she’s so fluffy and tasty. Thankfully our 12 year old cat just moved away. Why was someone taking photos while our child tried to eat our cat? Ask my husband.