Sunday, May 18, 2008

Not Good Enough Mothering

So I called up Emily, after my last post, in a panic and left a message:

I wrote about you without checking in. I don’t think the post is that bad, but I realized that you might not want me broadcasting your adventures in parenting (I’m paraphrasing here) over the internet. So if you want me to take it down, let me know and I’ll do it right away. But again, it’s not that terrible. At least I don’t think it is. But don’t hesitate to tell me if you want it down. I totally understand. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Later that evening Emily called me. She saw the post and after reading the disclaimer, “My friend Emily is a wonderful mother. Let me preface this story by saying that.,” she braced herself, imagining the various confidences that might follow. She was relieved to “just” read the story about accidentally locking her daughter in her bedroom. Emily, quite generously, gave me the green light to keep the story up—but it did get me thinking about boundaries and privacy and the fact that my personal choice to blog about my forays into parenting does not mean I get to make that choice for others. So, friends, unless I explicitly get permission from you to write about you (and allow you to preview the content) rest assured you will not be making any guest appearances here. My family members, well, you might not be so lucky. (This means you, Jenny. Payback for reading my diary as a kid.) And, Nan, who called me, flattered, when she read the post that mentioned her boys, Reid and Mitchell, unfortunately positively reinforced me to do it again, so Nan, expect to see your name in print here. Often.

But in the interest of full disclosure, I feel compelled to share some of my “not good enough mothering moments.” After all, it’s easy to write about someone else’s struggles. It’s quite another to write about your own:
  • Early on, when first learning to cut Sophia’s nails, I snipped the tip of her finger. Twice. Now I only file them.
  • Today, though I knew Sophia had pooped her diaper, I took a detour to Dunkin’ Donuts to get a decaf iced coffee before heading home.
  • My coffee is rarely decaf

A couple nights before I got married, Nan (!) and I had a drink at an inn on the Delaware River. We met a guy who had gone to Bard, years before I had. He was older. With kids. He told us that every time he or his wife did something they thought had the potential to screw up their kids, they'd throw a dollar in the "therapy jar."

So far, Sophia, you've got a couple bucks in the bank.

1 comment:

Raven O'Joy said...

HAHAHA....i would end up borrowing against Nikki's therapy jar for my own therapy!!!.....
feel to free to post about me...I am so glamorous i so dont mind!....clearly you see why i need the therapy...
newbie bad mommy moment admission:
In my excitement to get out and go to lunch with a good friend (who has no kids and you will see why i mention this in a minute)....i forgot to strap Nikki into her car seat...mind you my good friend was in the back with her and didnt do it either...we were busy talking gossip...I got home and was scared out of my wits that i forgot to strap her in....called my friend and blamed her...HAHAHA