This blog post was written by Kirsten Nel, who blogs at The Bird & The Beard – she was a winner in the Ackermans BYY Parenting Blog Awards 2022.
Yes, you read that right. I am standing up proudly as an average mom.
Let me explain.
I’m not a gentle mom. I’m not an authoritarian mom. I’m not a crunchy mom or a scrunchy mom or a helicopter mom. I’m not a free-range mom, or a vegan-BPA-free mom, or even a boss-girl mom. I am most definitely not a perfect mom.
What am I?
Some may call me a wine mom, others might even say I’m a hot-mess-mom. They’re not wrong, but I don’t feel those labels describe my style of parenting very accurately.
Hi, my name is Kirsten and I’m an average mom.
Don’t get me wrong, I tried my hardest to be what all the magazines wanted me to be. I read ALL the books – before the kids were born, obviously – and I was mentally and academically prepared for parenthood. But then I gave birth and everything went to shit.
I tried to be a gentle mom, but even with my medication I still can’t help rolling my eyes when I’m trying to validate my 4-year-old’s decision to throw sand in Tom-Tom’s face.
I dreamed of being a free-range mom but my anxiety couldn’t let me sleep without checking my baby was breathing or give the boys grapes to eat without me watching them like a hawk.
I was almost a helicopter mom but I got bored. If you ask me, all playgrounds should be outlawed and playdough should never have been invented. I would have loved to be a mom who breastfed her children til they reached double digits (because I’m a mom and that’s how I’m supposed to feel, right?), but breastfeeding was f***ing hard and made a huge contribution to my PTSD I have from being a newborn-mom. So no, that didn’t last very long.
I won’t argue with the wine-mom and hot-mess-mom labels but all the podcasts I try to listen to tell me to be kind to myself so let’s be gentle and just say those are occasional occurrences.
I’m the parent who does the school drop off in slippers.
I remember to pack lunch boxes, most days.
I swear frequently – sometimes even when my children are around.
I encourage moms to drop their children at playdates and run – run and don’t look back!
The Beard [partner] and I have regular nights out, either alone, together, or with friends.
I am a firm believer in antibiotics and I’m not shy with the Nurofen.
I reheat food in the microwave.
If I’m brutally honest, I don’t exactly know what a crunchy mom or a scrunchy mom is.
My kids eat sushi and camembert but they also get chocolate and sometimes eat porridge for supper.
I let my kids watch screens.
They wear their pyjamas to the Spur.
I take my kids to therapy.
Every day in my parenting journey is different, not because of my kids but because of me.
I get so overwhelmed by what I should do as a parent versus what will actually work with my children, and what I can be bothered to do, that most of the time I’m just winging it.
I either have the patience of a nun listening to a 4-year-old tell a story, or I’m locking myself in the bathroom for some alone-time, not even caring if there are knives on the counter or the kids are climbing the curtains. When my child takes aim and throws a book at his brother’s head, I’m not going to whisper sweet nothings to calm him down, but I’m also not going to wallop him into next Tuesday.
I’ll probably veer wildly between parenting styles in the space of a few minutes, upsetting the child, myself and the dog, pray to God that nobody is watching me but wondering where my village is to help me.
Then, at the end of the day, I’ll sit quietly amidst the chaos and sip my wine, convinced that I’m going to be the reason my child grows up to be a drug dealer.
It seems that I can’t win, with myself or my kids or the Facebook parenting groups.
And I guess that’s just the way it’s going to be. Sorry, kids – you got stuck with an average mom. But you know what? I have a sneaky suspicion I’m not the only one, amiright?
You can read the original version of this post HERE.
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