more on mothering

Tara - posted on 04/12/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )

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re-posted from my brain. :)



When people learn that I have 6 children I am often told I am crazy or I am brave or both. When people ask me “how the hell do you do it?” I tell them flat out “I just do and I love it, but that doesn’t mean I always do it perfectly.” I get a lot of different reactions to that.



I don’t mean that I suck at parenting six kids and shouldn’t have had them in the first place, what it means is that I believe in being the “good enough” mother.



For me that means that I am aware of what I eat when I’m pregnant, I take care of myself but I don’t stop eating chocolate and I don’t suddenly fall in love with aqua fit classes. It means that when I choose a midwife I also make it clear that yes I will have the tests that are offered and yes I will attend regular appointments but I will also trust my instincts about a lot of things and yes I will homebirth.



It means when I breastfeed I am there for them all the time for the first 0-6 months, but then I will leave them with their dad or grandma with a few bottles of boob milk in a bottle, yes a bottle. Sometimes I do it so I can take my other kids to other older kid things. Sometimes I do it so hubby and I can have wild monkey sex in the middle of the day for a couple of hours, finishing with a nice dinner just the two of us. Selfish some may say, good enough I say.



It means that when my kids are toddlers I help them and I care for them but I don’t do for them things they can do for themselves. It means when they are older I don’t dress them or pick their clothing once they can do it themselves, but I provide adequate and weather appropriate choices.



It means when we’re in the car I listen to what I want to listen to. But I also take time to sing silly songs and do math games.



It means that I don’t make decisions for my kids without first talking to them. But it also means that while I am diplomatic on most things, respect for parental decisions is expected.

It means that I don’t need to always be “on”. I don’t need to go play Barbies with my three girls, they have each other. I don’t have to play dress up whenever someone asks me to. It does mean that I make time each day for my kids, working with both our schedules. It means that we engage in games we all like to play, such as cards and charades etc.



Being good enough also means not feeling guilty about the things you do that are for you. That has nothing to do with kids at all, zip, zero, zilch.



It also means not expecting perfection from anyone, not your kids, your spouse nor yourself. This will only lead to a deep sense of being a loser dipshit. It’s not worth it. Guilt does nothing for your growth and development as a parent.



Acceptance of faults and weaknesses within yourself and your partner and your kids is the best way to grow. The intimate relationships in our lives are the true door to self discovery and self awareness.



When you expect to be “the better” mother you lose yourself. Be good enough and you keep yourself intact, your kids learn to be independent and happier and you lose a lot of stress off your shoulders. Being good enough is good enough for me.





edited to change 3-6 months to 0-6 months duh

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Johnny - posted on 04/12/2011

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Thanks for this Tara! I totally agree. And I think being a "good enough" mom really is probably the "best" way to go. It sets a better example for the kids.

Last night, I finally had it with trying to be "perfect" and went on strike. I'd rushed home from work, quickly weeded my garden still in my work clothes, changed, started the laundry, dusted, and was just getting the kitchen cleaned up to start dinner. My husband came in with our daughter, who was having a fit because they were fighting, as usual. While I was busy attending to her, he went into the kitchen and put all of the day's lunchware into the cupboard. When had her calm, I go back in & thanked him for washing it up for me. He says,"oh, it wasn't washed yet? I just put it away. I assumed you'd actually cleaned it. What have you been doing?" I started to answer as I climbed up to get all the tupperware out to dig through it and find the dirty ones. He's standing there asking my why I'd just left it on the counter. I just about decked him.

Instead, I climbed down, went to the fridge, got a beer, lay down on the couch and stayed there. He asked me about an hour later when I was going to get around to cooking dinner. I said, "I'm not. If you're hungry, you'll have to find something for yourself. Oh, and there's laundry that needs to be dealt with too if you want clean clothes for you & Michaela." I sat there all night. Put my feet up. Watched Dancing with the Stars for the first time ever (loved it).

I may cook dinner tonight. We'll see. But if anyone besides my boss decides to require perfection from me again, I'll be back on the sofa in front of Dancing with the Stars which I am now PVR ing for any future "strike".

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Sounds like the best kind of mum to me - one who lets her children be who they are and teaches them indepence while being there for them when they need her. This is the type of mum I strive to be and I hope I am achieveing it - my son seems happy most of the time so I must be doing something right :-)

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Alexis - posted on 04/12/2011

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uhh, I thought that was being a good mom, not just a good enough mom. Teaching them independence, giving them self esteem in what they can do and keeping your sanity is all part of being a really good mom! Not how good your cup cakes are, or how many loads of laundry you did. Sounds like your a great mom!

Mel - posted on 04/12/2011

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How close in age gap are your kids Tara? It would be quite full on I can imagine everyone I know with 4 or more children seems very and never stops. My husband has those views about SAHMs. He also doesnt understand why I might want to go out with him child free once. Says he likes spending time with them and wouldnt have someone look after them. They come to most things parties so we have to be home by their bed time, out to dinner which is also annoying as hell. I guess some guys are so old fashioned. His parents have the views you dont have kids to pass them around to people, they refused to go out to anything that was child free and their kids didnt start school til 5 or leave them at all til that age. I think its stupid and sets them up to be screwed up but thats just me. My husband and I still argue alot because of our different views and we were also raised very very differently.

Amanda - posted on 04/12/2011

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I love mommy strikes, I have been known to suddenly go on a strike. Rules to my mommy strikes

1. My name is Amanda, I not longer respond to mom, momma, mother or mommy.
2. You best figure out how the whole house works, because Im not leaving the couch other than to poop!

America3437 - posted on 04/12/2011

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I think you said it perfect!! I am just now relizing that it is perfectly ok for mom to have me time and not have to feel guility for it. After all we do deserve it!!!!

Bonnie - posted on 04/12/2011

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"I thought you loved being a stay at home mom?" "Any mother would die to be able to stay home like you do."

Tara, I also love being a SAHM. Of course that doesn't mean we can't have an off day or we can't get aggitated at our kids getting into things. And then the men come out and say, "Go get a full time job and I will stay home." LMAO I'm sure there are some men who can do it, but I would sure like to see one try.

Tara - posted on 04/12/2011

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My ex husband had real issues with my philosophy, that only cropped up once the kids were actually a bit older. He expected perfection from me all the time. It was simply unacceptable for a stay at home mom with 4-5 kids to be in any way frustrated or irritated at being left at home on a farm with no vehicle for the 8th day in a row. "I thought you loved being a stay at home mom?" "Any mother would die to be able to stay home like you do." And the best one I ever got from him; "I thought you loved the idea of living like they did on Little House on The Prairie." ROFLMFAO...
I'm sure that's not the case with you Bonnie, but I really beat myself up a lot during our marriage for not being June Cleaver or Caroline Ingalls, for not being the cookie baking, sing songy, mary fucking poppins he wanted me to be, expected me to be. Thought that all women were expected to be these ever loving, up at the crack of dawn making eggs freaking benedict and bacon for their children, ready to start the day, every day with bright eyes and a cheery disposition and dedicate every minute of every day to them. And if I complained at all about my plight I got "You said you want to be home, go get a full time job and I'll stay home".
Meh.. he's an ex for a reason! lol

Bonnie - posted on 04/12/2011

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Definitely agree. Now if only I can get my husband to realize there is nothing wrong with just being 'good enough'. Awww I want another baby.

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