Friday, October 22, 2010

Blog it Out

Here's to most likely ruining my career as a mommy blogger in one fell swoop. Buckle your seat belts for an emotional pregnant woman roller coaster, you must be this tall to ride and no refunds. I am not promising a smooth, or even coherent ride.

I saw Sex And The City 2 opening night with some of my best girlfriends in May; tonight Eric and I watched it again, and again it was great! I loved it... save for the scene where Miranda and Charlotte are confessing how hard it is to be a mother, and how their kids drive them crazy but it's all "worth it." When I brought this up after the premiere my head was nearly bit clear off for being anti Charlotte and her struggles.

Sigh... I never know what to do with these women, the Charlottes that is. I have never once thought "this is so hard, but so worth it," except for maybe after pushing 10 pound Milo out. I know every child is different, and mine must be the easiest that has ever been born because I think every moment with him is a joy and I never need a break. The dishes I need a break from, but never him. I hear parents talk about their difficulties all the time. I've worked for these parents and cared for their children for, well... more hours a day than they spend with them themselves. Those problems don't happen with me, or I see a direct link between the parent's actions and the child's negative behavior so when I watch Charlotte overwhelmed in her pantry, crying and falling to pieces I can't help but think that her fussy, difficult children are the result of her poor (or absent or unrealistic) parenting. Are the calm and happy mothers a product of having miraculously calm and happy babies, or are calm and happy babies the product of calm and happy mothers? Very chicken or the egg, isn't it.

The more I think of it the more sad I am when I see parents so disconnected from their babies. They don't know how to communicate with them, what to do with them, and take every opportunity to escape them. Tonight, by the end of SATC2 I was a sobbing mess because all I could think of was how wonderful Milo is, and how sad I am that he's growing up and I'm so terrified I will forget who he is right now - all the silly little things the camera might miss. It's something I think about so much, and try so hard to ignore. None of it is ever "worth it," as if there is some price to pay for it. As far as I'm concerned, I will never have enough time with him. *more tears, Eric just asked if the cat was "making that noise" as I'm sniffling over the keyboard*

I think we have finally come to the place where my life as a nanny has collided with my life as a mother and has left a conflicted, judgmental mess in its wake. There is so much about my job that I have loved. I have worked for wonderful families that have not only had it together, but that I've been able to learn a lot from. Yet as my last official weeks (weekends, actually) of nannyhood come to a close, forever, it's the "worth it" moms, the moms that have it together just enough for pictures and play dates that I think about. As I (totally irrationally, by the way) cry over Milo and my fear that I will forget how precious he is right now, they are in the back of my head. Do they think the same things as I do or are they just surviving today and praying for tomorrow? I don't know.

Maybe I'm just a spoiled brat with my perfect child, once again, I don't know. I admit that I feel like my job as a nanny makes me feel as if I have had an unique insider view into a handful of other parent-child relationships, maybe I don't. When I started this blog and discussed with other mothers whether I would in fact find nannying and parenting much different I was scoffed at for thinking a nanny could know what it's like to parent. That's pretty obnoxious of me, but somehow I think ended up right.

I'm just blogging this all out, much like crying it out only for a blogger. What I'm feeling most is my fear of forgetting Milo as he grows, and just the simple fact that he will grow, Eric and I will get old, and then we will die and leave him. That's best case scenario and I don't love it. Maybe my Charlotte rant is just a feeble attempt at avoiding having to type that out. Maybe I really needed to get both out to sleep soundly tonight. Probably... well, thanks for the therapy session, add it to my tab.

4 comments:

  1. I have said it, "It's so worth it", because my kids are not perfect, and neither is Milo. We all have moments when our kids color on our hardwood floors with nail polish or beat up their younger sibling on an hourly basis (you will surely get to experience that soon enough!), and we need to remind our selves that they are actually a source of JOY in our lives. We get frustrated sometimes, but not nearly as much as some other mothers. Maybe our kids are tons easier, OR maybe we ARE just more patient and can handle the small stresses THAT much better than most other moms. Either way, we have moments when we say, "this is worth it". In fact, I think that makes us more patient as mothers, because in the nail polish situations, we don't allow ourselves to over react or freak out because we know, that it isn't that big of a deal in the long run. Kids will be kids.

    The moms you are talking about, Cori, use "It's worth it" to try to justify having kids to THEMSELVES and to OTHERS. The ones who say it out loud often are the ones who don't really believe it. They need to say it out loud to convince other people that they actually want and love their children.

    You and I think it often, "this is so worth it", but we actually believe it, and people don't need to hear us say it because they don't see us struggle as mothers and wonder..."why are they doing this?" They can witness in our actions that we know what we are doing is the most important thing to us! :)

    Anyway, I don't know if this makes any sense, but I completely understand what you are saying.

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  2. I'm sure you do, I think we are in the same boat on this one, but I still have to clarify of course :)

    We can say something but not mean it in the way that 90% of other people mean it. I've never said it out loud, and honestly, when Milo was refinishing the hardwood floors my thoughts in order were: OMG I hope he didn't eat it, get it off him before he does eat it, omg how did he get a sticker in his mouth, I hope no one sees me while I'm buying this nail polish remover and my clid is painted silver, and then, this will make an awesome blog. Ask Eric, in the my worst moments I will usually say "this will make an awesome blog." I never thought anything bad of him, like he did anything wrong, and I was never upset (they are just floors) so there was never a price I was paying or something I had to endure, so saying "it's worth it" never occured to me, and I know that was just one example but I really don't find being a parent a burden at all. I don't think you do either, I hope we are the norm and just don't know it. But the more moms like us I talk to, the more I hear about the Charlottes in their lives.

    As for feuding siblings, I've cared for 3 families with 3 under the age of 5. I have been 7 months pregnant carring a 3 year old and an 18 month old up the stairs as both kicking and screaming (I believe one had gum in her hair). I've scrubbed toddler poop out of carpet while trying to keep the dog from eating it and trying to sooth one crying child as the other hurls insults. It's exhausting, but these are mere moments in our story, and they are what make our story great! And of course, just like with having a child in the first place people will say it'll be worse when they're mine, but I doubt it. Chaos is chaos, you can either thrive in it or not... and if you don't thrive... at least blog it ;)

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  3. Eh, it's a bit judgey, but I think anyone who claims they aren't secretly judging the shit out of everyone else is probably full of it. Everyone judges. It's just the nature of life, I think.

    My mom was, put quite plainly, never really meant to be a mom. She got knocked up at 18 to escape her family and had my brother. She got knocked up at 28 with me and had a Vegas wedding a few weeks before I was born. She had my younger sister because my dad begged her for another kid, and then she made him get a vasectomy. Don't get me wrong, she loves us, but she didn't want us. She is not exactly the "maternal" type.

    I find myself judging my mom and how she dealt with us a LOT. She never *did* anything with us. That was all my dad. She was not a hugger, a kisser, or an I-love-you-er... Again, all my dad. She smoked while she was pregnant, in our house, in the car with us in it (all as I suffered constant sinus infections and my sister developed asthma). I guess I don't really need to go on for you to understand my OMGWHATASHITTYMOTHER moments (which, for the record, still happen on a regular basis despite what I'm about to say next).

    But then I step back and I remember that my mom went through a lot as a kid, had a weird and screwed up upbringing... And I realize that people just have to do the best with what they've got. We're not absolved of our parenting sins, of course, but maybe we just need to take perspective into account before we judge others too harshly.

    There are days when I think, this is crazy, this is hard, but this is all worth it and I would do it all over again. I don't think that makes me a bad or lesser parent. I think that when I take into account the fact that nothing has gone according to our best laid plans... I had to go back to work, Adam hasn't been able to, despite taking great care of myself during pregnancy, Olive ended up with a medical problem that has caused Olive to go through some very painful and traumatic stuff, has caused us a ton of stress, and has cost our family tens of thousands of dollars... All of these things can be really overwhelming, and I don't feel like I'm a bad mom for taking time out and acknowledging it. I balance that stuff against the fact that even though I have to work outside of the home, I'm still nursing, I'm forging a strong bond with O by co-sleeping, and she's growing up healthy and strong and rambunctious and brilliant. As long as your child is truly your priority, then I think you're probably making the best parenting choices for you and for them, and acknowledging that it can be hard and overwhelming at times doesn't make you a lesser parent, just a different parent, with a different child, a different situation, and maybe most key... Just a different coping mechanism.

    Most importantly, though, don't talk about how easy everything is out loud, Cori. That's just calling down the karmic thunder, hahah.

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  4. Jenna - One of my tags for this blog was "judging." I'm probably wrong to do it... but sometimes I don't care. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, by the way, and I would never for a moment think you were one of these moms. Your situation actually is hard, those a real struggles... I would never look at a mother of a child that is sick and tell her to suck it up... but someone with enough money that they never have to work yet they still have full time care? Yeah, them I'll judge.

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