The fourth day of Blogging Fundamentals talks about identifying the “ideal audience.” I hadn’t given this any thought because I write for me. If other people like it – awesome. So, this is the “me” that I view when I write my blog.
“Mom” is a colossal word, in a tiny package. Everyone has good and bad experiences with their mom. Everyone who becomes a mom (or a dad for that matter) has days that feel like they hit parenting out of the ballpark. They also have days when they for like they are the worst mother ever.
I have a sixteen-year-old and a six-month-old. When the sixteen-year-old acts like a grown up by saving his money or making a plan for a project or finding a workaround for an obstacle in his path, I have a lot of pride in him and believe him to be one of the mostest smartest, mostest responsiblest kids ever. (I know there are plenty of them, he
is friends with some). On the other hand when he forgets the simple things and I have to remind him ten times a day, I find myself internally lamenting at how horrible I am as a mother.
The same applies with my six-month-old. However, the triumphs are smaller – sitting up on his own, getting ready to crawl – and more commensurate with his size. On the other hand, the disasters feel like they are even more my fault. A blown out diaper? I probably should have changed him earlier. Screaming while shopping? Apparently, I haven’t taught him how to behave.
What I forget is that I am not the only one in the equation. My sixteen year old knows what’s what and what the needs to do. He needs to work on his memory and his note taking skills. Sometimes life distracts him. With my six-month-old, I need to remember that this is my first time with a baby and I’m not going to be perfect, by my standards or anyone else’s. Conversely, when they accomplish something I need to remember – I helped make that. It is not my accomplishment, but I assisted it. When the teenager makes a good decision I need to keep in mind that we’ve talked about what a right thing is and what it means. We’ve discussed theoretical decisions for him and real decisions, good and bad that I’ve made. When the six month old figures out something new I need to remember that I showed him that over and over, he did not learn it in a vacuum.
Above and beyond all of that, I have to bear in mind that I am not just a mother I am also me. I am a writer, a reader, and a million other things for myself. Making time for myself – my writing my reading my gaming and other hobbies – makes me a better another to It is so because having time for myself means that my mental health remains balanced.
For moms (and dads) who know that balance helps them be a better parent: What activity gives you the mental tranquility to keep going?
For parents who feel like they are falling over the edge: What made you feel like you before you had kids? Now think about how you can begin to fit that back into your life.