Monday, January 25, 2010

The uber-mommies and me.

Recently, Kim at Perfectly Cursed Life (go read her!) wrote about going back to school, and the feelings of insecurity that went along with it. She closed with a question: How do you underestimate yourself?

The answer was easy for me. Book Babies. What is Book Babies? It's the story time group I take The Peanut to once a week. And the moms there freak me out.

I consider myself to be a pretty good mom. The Peanut is healthy, happy, and our doctor closes each check-up with "he's perfect." So I'm doing ok. But the Book Babies moms are a whole different breed of mom, and they make me feel like an idiot.

They drive mini-vans. They make their own baby food. They buy organic cotton environmentally friendly clothes for their children. Their kids have names like Phoenix and Heighlyie (that is how uber-mommies spell "Haley"). They all have this air of confidence, whether they are first-timers or repeat offenders. They just seem to KNOW that they are good moms; in fact, being a good mom seems to be their entire life.

Then you have me. Here's a little secret: I don't know what the hell I am doing. I've read all the books, I've taken the classes - I still have no effing clue. I still feel like a kid myself, and here I am trying to raise a kid. I am doing the best I can, which means sometimes I make mistakes. I learn something new about being a mom every day, and so far The Peanut has come out all right.

I drive a Sedan. Gerber makes our baby food. I buy my son's clothes at Walmart and Target, and his name is a regular name, spelled the regular way. When I get together with The Bestie, who is also a mommy, we usually aren't talking about chlorine-free diapers or "attachment parenting" - we're talking about the shoes we just bought, or "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."

My son is my whole life, but at the same time, he's NOT my whole life. Sometimes I wonder if that makes me a bad mom, but I think it actually makes me a better mom. My hope is that, because I haven't built all of my interests around him, I will be able to give him the space he needs to develop into his own person. I think that will be more beneficial to him than all of the homemade baby food in the world.

13 comments:

T. The Destructor said...

I know those crazy uber-moms...they make me nervous to be around. Because usually, the perfect facade you see is concealing a seedy undercurrent.

maybe I'm cynical. The effect of (almost) having a degree in forensic psychology.

nikki said...

I'll bet you ten bucks little Heyliegh's mom gets pissed when someone spells her precious baby's name wrong. Like I'm sure I just did.

My son is three. I dabbled in making his baby food (easy for veggies...not so much for fruits and meats). His clothes are mostly hand-me-downs from friends and from the Goodwill or Target. I've read the books and I've decided to parent by instinct. We mothers have instincts, and the plethora of books out there only serves to tell us we don't know what we're doing. So, follow your best instincts most of the time and you'll do fine.

I read and blog about things other than parenting to keep me sane. Do I feel bad about doing things that absolutely don't involve him? Sometimes. Am I going to stop? No.

When I take my kid to storytime at the library, I'm pretty much the only parent there. The other kids are accompanied by their nannies. Such is life in uppercrust Montgomery County Maryland. le sigh.

T. The Destructor said...

Nikki, if you live in Montgomery Co., your goodwill clothes are probably Prada and Gucci kid's cast offs from last season LOL. I love thrift shopping in Bethesda. The best I'm going to get where I am is something from K-mart that has a kool-aid stain down the front.

<----Charles Co. resident.

michelle said...

you sound like the kind of mom i want to be :) those women are probably future (current?) "helicopter" moms, the women i hated dealing with when i worked at the dean's office. they always knew better because their husbands were important people, and they'd been living their kids' lives for them for 18 years

as my mom keeps saying, "we raised kids for hundreds of years without all the books and gadgets. we turned out just fine." valid changes in parenting/safety/food health have occurred, but these ladies take it a bit too far

The Ashes said...

I cant stand moms like that. Crazies, all of them

I Really Suck At This said...

T - I don't know much about forensic psychology, but I am pretty sure these women would cut somebody.

nikki - I totally agree. I think our instincts work much better than we give ourselves credit for sometimes.

Michelle - Thank you! I have known a lot of people who couldn't handle the "real world" because of those helicopter moms. I want my kids to be able to take care of themselves when they grow up. My job is to teach them how.

Ashley - Yes, they are nuts. And they travel in packs!

Amber said...

I sort of fear for the children of uber-moms. I can't imagine them growing up to be very well-adjusted.

If you haven't read 'Little Children' or seen the movie I'd recommend it (the book more than the movie, though). There are a couple of really scary mommies in it.

sistrgoldenhair said...

I just found your blog and OMG this is the story of my life. I don't cloth diaper. I don't make baby food. I don't attachment parent (whatever that really means). I go to school. Apparently, that makes me the most horrible mother ever. Ugh.

Also, once, someone whose kid is named "Odin" told me my daughter- Julianne- had a strange name that was hard to spell. I almost laughed in her face.

Sadako said...

The moms at Book Babies sound scary. The fact that you are even taking your kid to a storytelling group sounds like enough good mommery to me--I don't think I got taken to one of those, though my parents read to me and I read early and all that jazz. I think you can be a more than great mom without making baby food and weaving your own handmade diapers from hemp and...yeah. :D

Steph said...

They're probably overcompensating for something or have very little else going on in their lives, which shouldn't make you feel inadequate! I totally don’t mean that as ugly as it sounds, but the habits you shared sound a bit extreme to me. Like Amber said, they probably won't be too well adjusted. I think kids should be kids and not treated ultra delicately.

I have no kids, so I probably don’t have a leg to stand on, but seriously…. Don’t stress, I’m sure you’re great.

Tracy said...

AMEN! Here's to processed baby food and having your own interests! Just found your blog and totally dig it. :)

Masala Chica said...

I am fully on board with you sister! I came by way of Hutch - love your blog.

"My son is my whole life, but at the same time, he's NOT my whole life."

I feel the same way. I think my kids will like that about our relationship - I love them to pieces - but want to also be the best mommy I can be by having a life of my own as well.

I know someone would read that and get mad at me - but whatevs.

Kiran

I Really Suck At This said...

Wow! First of all, it's so great to see the new commenters - thank you so much!

Amber - I haven't read or seen that one, but I will definitely check it out. I'll probably read the book first, I tend to prefer the literary version of just about every movie.

Sistr - Really? Odin? That sounds like a kid who has a lot of wedgies in his future.

Steph - Thank you. These ladies are pretty extreme...they have to been seen to be believed.

Tracy - Thank you so much! I agree...processed baby food actually tastes pretty good.

Kiran - Thank you! I think it is all about finding a balance. I just wonder what those ladies are going to do when their kids grow up and move out?

 
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