We've all seen or heard about Time magazines article. We've all seen blogs supporting or bashing it. And i'll admit to being a little behind in blogging about it, this could be considered old news. But this isn't going to be the typical post on what I think about it.
I will say this about it first- I feel articles like that are only being published to fuel the fires. I feel the only reason mainstream media is getting involved in, and actually starting, the mommy wars, is for money. And being backed by political entities. By starting, and fueling wars between those of us raising the next generation, they are removing the lime light from the Real Issues our country is facing. Those issues of social inequality and freedom being taken from us. How each of us parent is not really all that important, whats really important is raising children who can keep open minds, be respectful, problem solve with tact, and be of service to all. Whether you baby wear or use a stroller, breast feed or bottle feed, use AP (attachment parenting) methods or more standard/mainstream methods, really won't matter in 20 years, when they've grown. We, the parents need to not fight eachother about who's right and who's wrong, but support eachother in our similar journeys. Build communities, because they are quickly dying and with it our feelings of unity of a people. Speak out against the media and politicians fueling the war.
Alright, that said, on with my post...
Not Mom Enough.
I have 7 children at home. There are 7 days in a week. 24 hours in a day, 8 of which I sleep through (never straight mind you). That leaves 16 hours left in the day. At least 3 of those are used to care for our home, cleaning, washing dishes (yes the old fashioned way, by hand), doing laundry, cooking, etc. I try to take an hour to myself, usually in the wee hours of the day, each day. Plus time spent nursing A, about 2 hours a day.And in theory that would leave about an hour + for each child. But not nessicarily in any given stretch.
But i'm not mom enough to make it work like that. I don't get to spend an hour of quality time with each child each day. Maybe if I could put the others in suspended animation. Sometimes, in bed at night, the guilt gets to me. I find myself counting all the ways i'm not measuring up, how i'm failing the children. And being completely honest here, how it'd be easier to meet their needs with less. (not saying i'd pick any over the others, or I want less, or I regret any of them, just to make that clear- here often I have to be very clear so I don't hurt feelings or scar young self-esteem) Oh how many needs there are. And if you go with all the recommendations by "experts" children would be better off in small families. The "experts" line those of us with larger families, up for failure, guilt, and loads of self doubt. I am not mom enough, for those standards.
But my feelings are my own. I am my hardest critic. I can sabotage myself in a single thought. But how are my feelings formed? Where do I get the ideas of what I "should" be doing? And where i'm failing? The "Experts", the studies done, the media. If there was more out there on raising large families and meeting childrens' needs in large families, I may be better equiped to push off the feelings, to say "Hey! I'm doing it well."
And I can look at my own and see i'm doing something right. Mine are measuring up to our hopes. I will probably always have some guilt. I should've done this, I wish they could've done that. I did this with them, but not with them. They did this but not them. (Circle to the left. Circle to the right. Sit down. Stand up. And do it again.)
Its said don't compare your children to others. Your situation/life to others. Your children to their siblings. Or yourself to other parents. And really you shouldn't. I catch myself sometimes, failing miserably at the last.
But i'm not you. My life is not identical to anyone else's. I am mom enough right now, to my kids. Somedays I may fail, but there's always tomorrow. And in the long run there are always more good days than bad. And i'll just keep pecking away. A few minutes here and a few there is better than those that are never there. And good for us now.