We caught the cold of the little cutie I babysat last week.

1 reply
  1. Rachel DeVault
    Rachel DeVault says:

    Spending all day in your pajamas and letting your child watch 6 hours of TV does not make you a bad parent. I’m partly saying that to exonerate myself, but I really do believe we’d all feel much better if we quit trying to live up to the idea of “the right way” of motherhood: Showering and readying yourself before cheerfully waking up your child, dressing them in a perfectly coordinated outfit, giving them a complete–yet varied–breakfast, hot off the pan….going outside for one hour to enjoy what Nature has to offer, then walking to the library to enjoy what literature has to offer. Then home again for an ingenius library story before your child’s three-hour nap, during which you clean the house top-to-bottom, greet your husband (home for lunch from his 9 to 5) with your perfectly-put-together showered self and a gourmet meal. Baby’s awake again, and it’s time to work on numbers and letters! 30 minutes of Baby Einstein to enlighten his mind! Only 30 minutes, mind you, because more than that would be horrific damage to his growing brain. A little snack of carrots and celery, another smart story….perfectly-timed family dinner, laughing around the table. An amazingly orchestrated bedtime routine, watching your child drift off to sleep without a whimper. And after that, a switch from motherhood into Playboy Wife of the Year, giving your husband a night he won’t forget–for the hundredth time in a row. No!!! Can we please just give up that idea? Even if our ideas are somewhat less Stepford, we all have some picture in our minds of The Right Way. I don’t do that way. My way isn’t right or wrong….it’s my way. There are days when I completely forget this–somewhere in between the pooped-on perfectly coordinated outfit and 5p.m. shower in place of 5p.m. dinner. But I don’t think we’re meant to live these pristine lives….there are messes, glorious messes, ups and downs–downs that keep going down, and ups that are too short. There are those occasional seemingly-perfect days when we do spend more time outside and less time on TV, times when we happen to wake up and shower before children are awake. But that’s good! We’re mothers, we’re doing what they call the hardest job–but it’s hard because it’s rewarding, and it’s hard because we’re not just moms. We’re human. So no….in long, breathless train-speed answer to your question: No. It does not make you a bad parent.

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