Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The "Perfect" Mother

It's been a few months since I've been inspired to write.  What can I say?  I didn't feel like I had anything to say.  But, today is different.  Today, I was reading Natural Living Magazine today and saw an essay entitled "Mindful Mama".  Now, I'm pretty big into the whole mindfulness idea in Buddhism.  I'm not very good at putting it into practice, but I do my best.  So, when I saw the article, I decided to read it (between playing blocks and changing a diaper).

The author, Molly Remer, describes the "Perfect Mama" as such: 

"...she gives birth with joy and ease, preferably at home and possibly unassisted.  She breastfeeds responsively and for as long as her child needs - even through subsequent pregnancies and babies.  She uses cloth diapers or, even better, no diapers at all because she practices elimination communication.  She eats only organic foods and is perhaps vegetarian or vegan.  She is always happy and creative and ready to play.  She homeschools.  She stays at home or she effortlessly balances fulfilling work with a baby on her hip.  She babywears and co-sleeps and grows her own food.  She is "green" in her life and buying habits.  She does not circumcise and she never forgets to boycott Nestle.  Her family does not watch TV.  She uses gentle, patient, loving discipline - no snapping or snarling.  She never yells or gets angry and she never, never feels resentful or irritable."

Hahah!  I laughed so hard when I read this paragraph.  I gave birth at home with ease. I breastfeed (currently with my 15 month old) and plan to keep doing so until he decides otherwise.  I use cloth diapers and sometimes none at all because we DO practice EC!  We are vegan.  We plan to homeschool.  We babywear and co-sleep.  We didn't circumcise and actually... we DO boycott Nestle!

But the point of the article is that the author isn't perfect.  I often find myself stuck between what I see in the supposedly perfect parents that I know.  Deep inside, I know they all screw up like I do.  They probably lose their temper more often than not.  Their houses are messy or dirty.  They have unfinished projects that probably will never reach completion until their children either go to school or leave home.  And I'm betting, one or two of them eat at McDonalds once in a blue moon (not me because that place is nasty!).

I am probably my harshest critic too.  I know what I SHOULD do as a parent.  I probably shouldn't feed my son GMO Cheerios or corn chips.  I probably shouldn't have introduced him to that evil little muppet, Elmo as well as other TV programs.  I probably shouldn't have taken the easy way out by driving around town until he fell asleep tonight.  But I did.

 Today, when I was in Dress Barn trying on new clothes, I probably SHOULDN'T have felt resentful when my son pooped his diaper while I was playing dress-up.  Inside, I was irritated, but outwardly, I calmly changed back into my drabby clothes and brought him to the bathroom.  Then, after cleaning out his CLOTH diaper over the toilet, I started to wash my hands.  I probably SHOULDN'T have gotten angry when my son proceeded to throw the wet/dry bag, the wet wipes, and his clean diaper into the toilet.  But, I did lose my cool at that point.  I yelled.  He cried.  I sighed and comforted him.  I screwed up again.

I guess I'm just not perfect.  I'll just have to keep trying.

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