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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Parenting Perspective

As Beyonce has taught many of us, perspective is important. Often, as parents, we lose our perspective, along with our collective shit. Here's a little advice to help you find that elusive perspective.

Keep the big picture in mind, not the little details
If you can't find the red-and-white checkered table cloth that you have scoured 25 stores for because it will go perfect with your farm-themed birthday party, the party will still go on. Your kid will still eat so much cake he wants to throw up, your kid's friends will still trash your house while having the best time EVER and you will still need a cocktail to survive it all. We sometimes get wrapped up in the details of it all and forget to look at the big picture: this is your child's birthday party and all they care about is cake and presents. You are the one that cares about matching centerpieces and a coordinating menu. Let it go. Try to see what is really important in every situation and let the niggling details fall to the wayside while you open a box of wine and lighten up about being perfect all the time.

Stop to smell the dirty diapers roses
With work, daycare dropoffs, Drs appointments, school programs, dishes, groceries, potty training, dirty diapers, etc., us moms have a lot going on. This sometimes makes it hard for us to enjoy the small things, like the hug our toddler gives us without prompting while we are trying to clean their Cheerios off the toilet. Let everything slide once in a while. Let the cleaning, laundry and the dishes wait until the kids go to bed. Hell, it is easier cleaning without the path of destruction following behind you anyway. The point is, stop being so busy that you don't enjoy life. Instead of hyper-planning a "fun" day at the Zoo filled with every awesome thing you can think of, head to the backyard and play a game of tag with your kids. Chances are you will both enjoy it more than some crazy outing.

It isn't that big of a deal
We parents often spend too much time making a big deal out of nothing. So you dropped the paci on the floor of a restaurant and stuffed it back into your baby's mouth rather than go to wash it properly and prompt a raging fit; so you sent your 3-year-old boy to school in his sister's Barbie undies because his were all dirty; so you forgot to bring your organic, gluten-, dairy- and soy-free fruit snacks for your kid and fed them regular ones instead; so you realized you were out of diapers after your daughter had a blowout at the pediatrician and had to ask them for a spare. Life will go on. These things are not that big of a deal and, chances are, your kids will not be permanently scarred because you bought store-brand formula and not Similac. Kids are like rubber bands. They are flexible and snap back from everything. We parents need to learn to do the same and give ourselves a break every now and then.

It's OK to not be a Gwenyth
With today's changing society, a mommy can feel like total shit if she doesn't use cloth diapers, breastfeed until her kids are in college, feed them only organic diets, rid their household of all plastic, etc. In my book, if you manage to get healthy food in your kid 50% of the time, CONGRATS. Don't sweat the 50% of the time that you throw McNuggets at them because you are late for your kid-induced lobotomy. You don't have to make your own toilet cleaner from gypsy tears in order for your kids to grow up normal. It is OK to give into temptation once in a while. No, this doesn't mean giving your kids a turn at the keg. It just means to lighten up and let them eat a real cupcake every once in a while. Fuck Gwenyth. Her kids are named Apple and Moses. They are screwed no matter what she feeds them.

Things could always be worse
Yep, your kid flushed another diaper and flooded the bathroom with poo water. Yep, your dishwasher broke the same week as the dryer and the air conditioner. Yep, your kid got lice and spread it to the entire t-ball league and you are now the talk of the mommy town. Yep, you burned the lasagna when you have had the worst day ever and the kids are screaming at you for food. Yep, your infant puked all over your brand new outfit right before you were about to head out for your first date night in months. So what? Your kids could be in a hospital bed instead of driving you crazy in the car. Your house could have burned down instead of just needing a few repairs. Take a deep breath. Walk away from the situation for a few minutes. Down some "Mommy Juice". Then head back into the battle guns blazing and kick some mommy ass! It could always be worse.


  1. This is awesome! "Now I'm just making my own toilet cleaner from gypsy tears" is my new go-to expression to remind myself to reel it in when I'm going gonzo-overboard.

  2. i think i'll be referring to this lots as my 11-mo-old sharpens his path-of-destruction skills you mentioned and his bday party approaches. last night when my hubby took the kid and the dog for a walk i did dishes, took out the trash, switched and folded laundry, and vacuumed in 30 min. it's wasn't a full-assed effort, but who cares. cuz they got back and the kid recreated the mess i just picked up and the dog tracked in the crap i just vacuumed. meh, whatever. it's sorta like deciding it's better to brush your teeth and then eat an oreo than to brush your teeth while chewing on said oreo. ;)

  3. Such a timely post. (I blogged today about toxic elements in our lives and question whether we're making too big a deal about them.) You're so right on all these points. I think I'd also add SIMPLIFY. Yes, you want to go to the zoo and see the penguins, ride the train, get ice cream and visit the petting zoo. But, the reality is, you have a toddler who might have his/her own agenda. So, why set yourself us for disappointment? Why not just plan to visit the zoo and see where the day takes you?!?

  4. Robyn, gypsy tears solve anything. They are like duct tape!

    Katie, I also flash clean whenever I get 10 spare minutes then always feel defeated when it is even dirtier 15 minutes later. ugh!

    Nilsa, I LOVE vinegar. We make our own glass/all purpose cleaners with it just because I think it eliminates odors better.

  5. I needed to read this today....I never stop and breathe and enjoy the little things when I need to. Especially with a new baby and two little ones. They will be grown before I know it and I will miss some of the craziness! :)

  6. This post could NOT have come on a better day. I need reminding of several of your points.

    My baby is sick (threw up IN my bed), my bathroom flooded (a while ago it seems, and now have mildew'd carpet). A lighter I set down on the counter after lighting a candle (that mildew smell wasn't pretty) BLEW up and caused a 4 foot flame, and soot marks on my ceiling that I cannot freaking reach to clean, and a lovely burn mark on my NON-granite counter.

    And my company just lost a big contract, so it's not like I'm winning at work either!

    Great post :) It really could be worse.

  7. Good god, Kiwi, I sure as shit hope you aren't pregnant so you can at least have a drink!


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