It’s been a minute since I last posted on here. It wasn’t intentional by any means. I really enjoy doing my blog posts and look at them as something for myself in a life that is not my own anymore. When you get married you give over part of your life to someone, but at the end of the day you are both adults (hopefully) and can do what you want. I can leave the house without Tim to go to the grocery store, although it would be epic to try to get him into the stroller and push him around. When you have a baby your life is no longer yours. You are someone’s mom. You can go NO WHERE alone, not even the bathroom. You have a little person to answer to minute after minute. You have to put another person’s needs in front of yours or DHHS will be asking why you thought it pertinent to have the third margarita over feeding your crying baby. You are a parent. This is now your life.
With great power comes great responsibility. True that being a parent is a 24-7 job but there’s also a huge amount of power with it. We get to decide what kind of child we have. Our decisions affect her and her every move. From where we put her in school to how harsh we are as parents. We are molding a person literally from day one and that’s ridiculous to think about seeing how I used to take the heads off my Barbies because it was “easier” to style their hair that way. Was it baby Amy, was it? The unfortunate thing about having these responsibilities in today’s world is everything we do can come under scrutiny whether we want it to or not. I am well aware that I could be judge or told off by a parent every time I post a picture of my baby. However, I could also have my picture posted on line without my permission because someone in public thought something I was doing was wrong, as a parent, as an adult, or as a woman. Since becoming a mom I realized more and more how I am Facebook commenting myself.
Facebook commenting myself is a pretty simple idea. I am predicting what someone would say if the thing I was doing was posted on Facebook. What would the trolls say? What would other stay at home parents say? What would my parents say? My friends? My husband? Myself if I saw it on someone else’s profile? The other day I realized something. It is exhausting. I realized it because I was reading the Facebook comments on different parenting articles or blogs. I was reading the replies to the comments being made. I then put together how much I was doing this in my real non-Facebook life. I was parenting and trying to get through the first year of raising a human based on what other people out there thought of me. I have always been a perfectionist but parenting and perfect are worse than oil and water. I mean we’re talking Mel Gibson vs. voicemails scenarios.
Before we had Eva I had some grandiose ideas about what kind of mom I was going to be. I was going to shower everyday. I was going to have a pretty clean house. I was going to cook at least 80% of our meals at home. I was going to keep up with family and friends and never turn down an invitation. Then the baby came. After four months, I shower maybe three to four times a week. I don’t know what clean means anymore. We get at least 80% of our meals outside our home and I touch the stove maybe twice a week. I’ve turned down multiple invites because it was just too much to try to do with a baby. With every one of these disappointments I could hear the FB comments. “When I had a baby it wasn’t that bad.” “SAHM was the easiest job in my life! Why are so many of you complaining? Get it together.” “At least you get to stay home. Try working and then coming home.” I told Tim the other day that I actually feel guilty when someone says I have great natural mothering instincts. I felt guilty because we see all around us that if we don’t struggle and work hard for things then we don’t actually deserve the reward. If mothering comes easily to me doesn’t that mean I don’t earn it? HOW INSANE IS THAT?!!??!! I should be so excited that it’s natural for me. Maybe it means my days as a mom are a microscopic bit easier than if it wasn’t natural for me.
At some point recently I stopped caring so much what these imaginary comments were saying because everyday I see a beautiful smile come across her face. I hear laughter when she plays with Tim. I had a certified doctor tell me she’s in the 98th percentile for weight and 95th percentile for height. We have empirical evidence that we do in fact have a healthful and happy baby in our house. Clearly Tim and I are doing something right. I’m doing something right. I will go insane worrying about what comments will eventually say because it’s my own inner commentary that I have to listen to. Eva was two days old when her pediatrician said, “You’re the mom now. It doesn’t matter what anyone says. You’re the mom.” and it’s true. Every time Eva pops me a smile and grabs my face to bring to hers I know she feels closeness, she feels happiness, she feels safe, and she feels loved. I can’t ask for more than that as a mom.