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At first I found it funny that you were so concerned about
the future of the neighborhood children. Your comments on the way they were
dressed, how aggressively they were playing and whether or not you thought they
would grow up to become cops or prostitutes really made me laugh. Things began
to take a different turn when I sat in shocked silence as you described your
sister’s child as a heathen and remarked that she needed to take control of the
situation or her child would eventually kill her. You then hopped into your
shiny Black BMW and sped off to meet your newest boy toy.
Ahh. The luxury of being able to criticize and then turn the
channel and focus on your own life. Most parents don’t get to do that. When we
make a decision that impacts our children we can’t just turn around and focus
on something else. Every move we make and every word we say is often debated
and berated within our own minds because we understand that every action we
take has a ripple effect on our children. Besides the obvious fact that you are
so eager to point out, we do admit that for the most part, we don’t know what
we are doing. We are winging it and every child is different, so we adjust to
their personalities and try different tactics to get through to them.
While we’re juggling our own lives, fears and desires, we’re
trying to groom our children into self-sufficient little beings, and when you waltz
in making your smug comments about our parenting skills without going through
the initiation of having to hold out your hand and allow a toddler to throw up
in it, what we really want to do is punch you in the face.
We’re taking on the duties of parental responsibility without being qualified, and our stretch marks tell the war stories of labor.
You don’t know anything about this. You won’t know until you
are sleeping in a spot of urine because your child has wet the bed while
sleeping with you, and you are too damn tired of get up and clean it. Did you
wrinkle your nose at the thought? All the more reason why you should stick to criticizing
the ladies on reality TV, at least their lives are more realistic to you than
what you think ours is all about.
You are not an expert at parenting. No one is. It is nowhere near as easy as you think it is. These are actual people
that we have to keep alive and somehow try to teach how to navigate in this
world—especially when everything in them wants to resist us as they seek to define
themselves outside of our influence. It’s like trying to hold back a tidal wave
with an open palm.
We’re taking on the duties of parental responsibility without
being qualified, and our stretch marks tell the war stories of labor. Unless you
have them, you can think whatever you want, just don’t say it. Or we’ll give
our kids the secret signal to throw up on your shoe.