Thursday, May 24, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

I was reading a post over at Metro Mama's and realized that she is absolutely right. We moms are all really good at sharing our angst and shortcomings, but it's not often - or, more importantly, not often enough - that we share the good things. She was talking specifically about laughs and poems in this instance, but since I'm fresh outta laughs, I thought the least that I could do is share with you some of the ways that I AM a good parent, despite all my protests to the contrary:

  1. When I'm with the Boy, I am WITH him. Present. I don't blog, watch tv, talk on the phone (except when absolutely unavoidable), or read. I may not be there all day, but the time I have with him is quality time.
  2. I stick to a firm-but-flexible schedule. The Boy knows what to expect of his day, and we avoid a lot of tantrums by keeping naps and bedtimes predictable.
  3. I always look for opportunities to give the Boy a choice. I keep it to choices he can make: a choice of two dinners, a choice of two shirts. I think it gives him a sense of independence.
  4. I rarely leave the house without everything we could ever need for every possible scenario. I'm an ultra-planner that way.
  5. The Boy's comfort and happiness is foremost in my thoughts. I actually sit at my desk at work and worry whether I've dressed him properly for the day, and plan days together to make sure that he gets a nice mix of indoor and outdoor time.
  6. I can make the Boy smile or laugh just by looking at him funny.
  7. I've managed to raise a generally sunny and upbeat Boy who narrates his life like a Young Driver's of Canada running commentary, but set to music. You'll often hear little songs floating around our house like: "I sitting on a chair now! I sitting on a chai-air!"

I think seven is a good number, so I'm going to stop there. What I would like to know, though, is how do you think you're a good mother?? I know you all are, or I wouldn't be reading your blogs every day. As with Metro, I like to surround myself by stronger players.

And, since it's against my nature to be a total Little-Miss-Sunshine without any clouds whatsoever, why don't you skip over to Mommy Blogs Toronto and read my latest post on a rather embarassing failure from my theatre school days? It's a doozy. Fun times.


kittenpie said...

I agree with all those things. I take pumpkinpie to daycare on my day off during the week so I can do all my appointments and house chores and everything then and devote weekends and evenings to her. So even though I sometimes feel like it makes me lazy and crappy to take her in when I'm not at work, I like being able to be totally with her on "stay-home" days.

Christine said...

Sounds like you are a terrific mom! I've had a crummy day so i ham having a hard time thinking of my good mommy qualities. But i know this--I am VERY good at kissing away boo boos!

Christine said...

Oh--and I think you are totally right. We are so busy beating ourselves up for what we don't do or do poorly, that we forget all the things that we do right for our kids. We need to focus more on our strengths on wmen and moms, too.

NotSoSage said...

I think there's a lot of positivity in this 'sphere. I don't think I'd be here if every blogger just complained about or documented their mistakes.

I also think there's something to be said for learning through introspection and consideration when you realise that you have made a mistake. That said, I do the scariest/funniest lion impression of any mom I know.

metro mama said...

Great good mama list.

I'm with you on 2, 3, and 6. I need to do better on packing the right things. I always forget something.

I think I do well at the park at keeping a good eye on Jane, while not hovering too much (she's an independent little thing and doesn't like me to hover much. And I manage to chat quite a bit.)

Mad Hatter said...

Ya, I must admit I was a little baffled when I read Julie's post yesterday (note to self, I must get back to comment. I read it late at night). It's my experience that there is an abundance of joy in the blogosphere. In fact I think of all the women here as light of foot and broad of smile and gracious and radiating good mother strength. Maybe I am missing out on the angsty blogs.

As for being a good mother? I am the queen of nonsense and silly song. We (my daughter, my husband, and I) giggle ourselves silly. Oh and according to Miss M, I give the best "big hug" out there.

Denguy said...

Yes, I am with my kids when I am with them, which is why I rarely blog. But I still do it--mostly at night.

I loved your number six.

kgirl said...

I think Julie's post had more to do with the response to the angst - we band around moms that are tired, defeated, bored or generally being challenged, while saying little about or to the moms that are doing just fine, thank you.

In a way, that is why our community is great - we support - but it definitely can seem like there are days when no one has anything good to say, and that too is deflating.

Hooray for all of us, because it's sometimes easier to write about the complaints, but we could go on forever about the good stuff. We should.

And just cause this isn't long enough, I had the most devine evening last night, just me and Bee. It was probably the most 'present' I've been in a while, and boy, did it feel good.

nomotherearth said...

Kgirl - Good point. Perhaps I was mis-interpreting or RE-interpreting Julie's words. I do think we could and should share as much of the good stuff as we can.

To everyone - Thanks for sharing! I love hearing the joy in your words.

ewe are here said...

I agree we need to remember the positives...I've been trying to post as such, too.

metro mama said...

Yes, K-girl described it better than I did (I was vague). I have no problem with talking about the trying times, and I think we need to do so. I think what turns me off is how there is so little interest in the positive.

What annoys me is how sometimes it feels like the cool kids are oh so bored and if you're actually enjoying motherhood you must be one of those June Cleaver types. There seems to be a dichotomy.

Oh, and I also spend tons and tons of time reading to Cakes.

crazymumma said...

I am blogging right now, while littlegirl eats her lunch alone in front of the TV. I forgive myself....

I am a great mum because I do not freak out when they ask me what fuck means because they have heard it come out of my mouth so many times.

Bon said...

your first point really grabbed me. i've ended up in a weird conversation about stay-at-home parenting over at my place, kind of unexpectedly, and when i read your piece about being present i realized "this is what having a little space away, some caregiver time, some time for me to work like an adult and get things done...this is what it does for me." right now, it's still p/t for me, but it lets me come back and be present, a truly good parent, not one who's just there but trying to get everything else done.

thanks for saying it better than i've been able to.

Mimi said...

Great post! You *do* sound like a great mom.

I am a good mom because (and I just noticed this myself) I realize my baby's fussing and whining and such is best met with smiles and help and redirection. I don't seem to get angry (anymore) and I'm really very caring and helpful.

In addition to being very good with predictable routines.

Hooray for all of us!

Beck said...

Wonderful post! And you sound like a terrific mother.

mamatulip said...

I try to have one-on-one time with each of my kids every day. Just some time in the day that's for both of them, separately, with me. I really think that's important.

Susanne said...

I like the idea of posting about what we do right as mothers very much. I'll put it in my line of posts-to-be.


Her Bad Mother said...

I'm a good mom because I love, hard. And because I laugh, hard.

Great list.

Annie D said...

I just happened upon your blog, and I like it..
so I thought I would comment as well.

I am a stay at home mom to two boys, one with disabilities.

I think I am a good advocate to my son with disabilities, researching, taking him to the dr, planning for th e IEP meetings, etc etc. I also learn sign language for my son and teach him, and his brother and Dad.

I give a lot of hugs and kisses.
We play together, read together.

I take my kids to the playground, We ride the bike w/kiddy trailer to my son's school.

gotta run and pick up my son from school now !!!