cross-posted @ Straight From the Bottle
I can unflinchingly write about my deepest secrets. I can be self-deprecating, write about turmoil and pain and the raw truth, no problem. I can easily write about feeling like a bad person and a shitty mother, and I admit, at times I do feel that way.
It is clear that people want what is raw and honest and the truth. People want to read about people who struggle and are in pain. The idiosyncratic parent. The fucked-up hero. The unlikely star.
Parents want to read about one another’s failures. They want to say “me too” to the secrets and lies of strangers because misery loves company and people who feel alone want to know that there is no such thing.
Because there is no such thing…
As being alone.
But just as there is no such thing as being alone, there is such thing as being a confident parent. Unfortunately, and for whatever reason, no one feels comfortable saying so.
And that’s crazy. And insane. And sad.
So here is the truth. Here is what I have hidden away for the past two years:
I’m a good mother. I trust my instincts and I am proud of who I am as a parent. I do not regret a single decision I have made thus far. I love that I’m not afraid to get dirty in the mud and dance around the house like a fool and I love that I can make Archer laugh with a single face. I love that I am unafraid and optimistic and patient. I love that I take Archer gallivanting around town to explore unlikely playgrounds. I think I'm positive and real and a good role model for my son and I think I'm doing a damn good job with this parenting thing.
I said it.
Isn’t that great?
Now why the hell were those words so hard for me to type? How come it was hard for me to admit that?
Is being happy unforgivable?
Must we hide the fact that we love being mothers or fathers, women and men? That we love being with our children? That we think we are doing a damn good job?
I have to believe that many of you are like me—that you are afraid to admit to the world that you are amazing. That no matter how hard it gets, you are proud of who you are as people and parents.
Because I’m so tired of all of us thinking it’s necessary to wax poetic every week about how much we suck at being mothers and how hard it is and how afraid we are that we are fucking up our young. Day after day. Blog post after blog post. Memoir after memoir.
I am so frustrated by the fact that I cannot be a confident parent. That by saying I love myself and my abilities as a mother, I am somehow being arrogant, cocky. Vain? That we so easily say kind and loving things about our children and are unable to say anything kind and loving about ourselves. Don't we deserve that? Haven't we earned that right?
Please, say yes.
We are parenting during the age of self-help and books dictating what we are supposed to do in every situation. We have been manipulated into thinking we’re bad parents, ditching our instincts and googling even the simplest questions instead of listening to our hearts.
Admitting we are shitty parents isn’t progressive. Cynicism is one thing but hopelessness is a bummer.
Claiming to be bad parents is the new “I’m fat” for even the thinnest of women.
I’m bored with the cynicism and the sarcasm and I’m tired of feeling bad about feeling good about myself and my ability as a mother.
Fulfillment and confidence and joy should not be stifled or hidden or kept secret. No one should feel embarrassed to admit they think they’re awesome: a good parent. Because for all of the folks who think it’s cool to be “bad” it’s so much cooler to be “good.” And even cooler? Is admitting it.
Being ashamed to write about how kick-ass you are is the reason for the mommy wars. We are weak in each other’s eyes and therefore prey to criticism and judgment.
We talk all the time about the importance in empowering each other, but in order to do so, we must first empower ourselves.
Your turn: Tell me what makes you an amazing parent. On your blogs or in the comments or on the wall of a public bathroom stall (if you do choose to drag a sharpie across a bathroom stall, do me a favor and take a photograph?)
Include the links to your posts in the comments. I’ll be linking to your posts/ highlighting your excerpts on my blog. Thank you in advance!