Sunday, August 22, 2010

File under "Slacker Mom, blogs that make me feel like a"

In general, I don't talk about my personal life on this blog, unless it pertains to pregnancy/birth/breastfeeding/parenting issues. That's a pretty big "unless" there, I know, as I just totally spilled my guts about postpartum OCD, and have told both my birth story and nursing journey in graphic and harrowing detail, but I see these as having context that applies to the content, if that's not too wordy. But I need to get something off my chest.

There are some blogs out there that are pissing me off in their extreme awesomeness.

First of all, there is Mila's Daydreams, first recommended to me a few weeks ago. What do I do when Lily naps? Well, I'm pretty much doing it right now. This, or getting my social fix for the day on Facebook, or trying to catch up with overdue posts for my food blog, or sometimes studying for a certification, or eating, or racing around the house to try and straighten up while I have a chance of not having my work immediately undone by the Tasmanian Toddler following behind.

What does this mom do? She constructs elaborate, stunning, touching fantasy-scapes of her slumbering precious, usually out of everyday, ordinary materials. What a lucky kid. She'll probably think every child has a coffee-table book of her devoted mother's creative projections of baby self by the time they're 2, at least until she encounters the rest of us slacker moms. (But hey, at least she'll know exactly how much breastmilk she got, how many wet diapers she produced and at what time, and whether she pooed on any given day within her first 365.)

Then there's Lucy & Ethel Have a Baby: The Adventures of Shrike, Whozat and Peeper. They're a lesbian couple who had their adorable baby (Peeper) almost two years ago. Their entire story is fascinating, from the conception and birth through a difficult yet inspiring nursing story and even Peeper's open heart surgery, but what grabs me in my guilty bits is the letter she writes to Peeper each and every month.

These posts detail what she's doing, what she's eating, what she's interested in, what's been going on, and just generally are filled with awe and aww and abundant affection. They are loving and detailed and exactly the kind of thing I set out to do when I purchased a pregnancy journal about 3 years ago. Oh, I wrote in it, rather lengthily, too - twice. And never again since - it's one of those things, you know, how the longer you go without writing in it, the harder it is to start up again. I've sporadically posted pictures and some commentaries in a baby blog for Lily, but it has been overrun with kudzu-like spam of late, and I haven't even included a link to pictures there in months. Lucy & Ethel also post pictures every day. Literally every day, in "The Daily Peep". My long distance family would seethe with envy at the disciplined devotion.

Finally, we have Enjoying the Small Things. This one first came to my attention (and many others) when this stunningly gorgeous mother gave birth to her second daughter, only to discover that Nella has Down syndrome. The post that tells this story is a masterpiece of blog form, and one of the most moving things I have ever read. I dare you, try reading it with dry eyes. Go ahead.

The posts that follow that, as Kelle and her family come to terms with - and beyond that, embrace and celebrate - this unexpected development, are equally wonderful. I'm blown away by the whole experience, and deeply grateful that she is willing to share this with all of us. It's a tremendous gift.

But then she has to go and live her normal life, which on an infuriating DAILY BASIS appears to consist of nonstop adventures with her girls, who are always dressed to the nines, right down to the accessories and matching pedicures for all. I haven't gotten a pedicure since I was about 7 months pregnant, and Lily's lucky if remember to nibble her nails off in her sleep. There are endless delightful treats, crafts, parties, trips, beach days, all seeming to be have a crew of stylists behind them, and (did I mention she's a talented photographer, on top of everything?) photographed in expert, crystal-clear, perfectly composed Technicolor. And did I mention she looks like a supermodel 100% of the time? In every single frame?

Seriously, it's not like she saves these things up and posts a collection of fabulous once in a while. I subscribe to her blog. It's like every. freaking. day. How can this be? How can someone engineer the amazingness that is their life AND be that put together all. the. time? For me, getting to take a shower without cutting one grooming task short due to whining and/or destruction taking place outside the shower curtain is, like, a monthly event, and I only have one child. Are we the same mom species? Are we even on the same mom planet?

Stop being so dang great, all of you!!! *shakes fist*

Not really. I think you're wonderful. Keep on keepin' on. But if you're ever in the mood to share your secrets on how to be so infuriatingly awesome (and no one would blame you for protecting your hoard), do drop a line here!

And in the meantime, I can try to start with some baby steps. Perhaps one craft a week. One dress-up day. And maybe I can write another letter to Lily - I can never make up for not having done so every month, but perhaps I can write about our first 2 years, and then try to do so annually after that. If I go beyond that, then I'm an overachiever. RIGHT?


  1. I 100% hear you! It seems that everywhere I look every other mom has it just a little bit more "together" than I do...and some are questionably even human! But, I assure you (and myself) that we all have our super-mom talents and that for every envious thing we see in someone's life, there are the unseen, often unshared, not so wonderful parts (like the complete lack of showering for three days while everyone has chicken pox and the standing at the counter meals consisting of nothing but mac n' cheese are eaten with bare hands while a baby claws pieces of hair out of your head while a toddler fills the cat water dish with wads of toilet paper that *may or may not be* already used) Oh wait...yeah, that was my afternoon :)

    Looking back over my 20+ years of mommyhood, I do wish that I had written more about how much joy I felt at being a part of their everyday growth. The rotten parts do tend to get glossed over into a montage of highlights along with a warm fuzzy feeling which is the overall outcome, but not necessarily representative of the journey...and I wish there were more photos of me with my kids where I looked young and happy instead of tired and trying my best to crane my neck to stay out of the shot.

    Thankfully, parenting takes a lifetime and there are still plenty of chances for me to fill in those blanks...not the mention that reams of blank paper in their baby books :)

  2. HOW ON EARTH DOES SHE GET HER BABY TO SLEEP SO SOUNDLY???? That is so seriously not fair. Our naps look the same, stuck under a nursing baby (possibly two) who have eyes that will fly OPEN immediately if there is any HINT of me moving, reclaiming my nipple, or reading written words in the form of a book. Mila's mom is made of MAGIC. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. I hear you, hear you, hear you!!!! Reading mommy blogs gives me a big dose of guilt. I have to curtail my reading!

    What do I do while my child naps? I NAP TOO!!! There! I'm coming out of the closet!!! Sometime I'll blog about that. I don't do elaborate projects or do correspondence courses or keep an immaculate home or cook three-course dinners. I keep it simple and make sure that I too take a nap. I've said it.

    Good post! :)

  4. I just posted this biiiiig looooong post about this on my blog, and biiiig long reply to your here. However, I accidently deleted it and now I am very angry so i'm just going to say I agree with you and to check out '1000 reasons i'm a crap mom'. No more guilt issues!!!

  5. Thanks so much for posting the Enjoying the small things blog! I started reading her birth story for nellie and realized that her daughter and my daughter were born on the same day. If anything her blog has inspired me to get more organized, surround myself with more beautiful things (as much as I can afford it!) and get a camera, for goodness' sake!

  6. As much as it's been a fun read, Enjoying the Small Things makes me feel like a failure at LIFE because I do not constantly have fabulous trips to the beach and make cupcakes every day. Good lord. Like I swear, new cupcakes every single day.

  7. Rebecca, YES! Those super-special, exquisite, precious, DAILY cupcakes! Sheesh. How does this happen?

    Betty, I'm-a check your post out now!