Ramblings on parenting, and I do mean ramblings.

Posted on | January 24, 2013 | 42 Comments

pumpkin patch minis web-118copyPhoto not indicative of how my child acts all the time. Or how my hair and makeup looks daily, because no.

Today I read a post by my pal Melissa that really hit close to home for me. Her post, here, is basically laying out her perceived flaws she has noticed in herself while parenting her 3 year old. It’s no secret if you’ve read around here long enough, that 3 was pretty rough for us. Everyone always talks about the Terrible Twos – but for us, two was pretty wonderful considering. Three is where the crazy tantrums, attitude and general bi-polar behavior kicked in. Three also comes with amazing things – a developing sense of humor, cute antics and a huge fun vocabulary that helps you just relate and communicate better. Three is a whirlwind. Three is full of wine.

Besides the fact that I could relate with almost every point Melissa made about herself as a parent, I was also happy to see someone be so honest about their parenting struggles. Much of blogging and the social media related to it tends to show the highlights of our lives. Which, to an extent, it should. I mean, I don’t have much interest in following an Instagram feed where every photo is sad or depressing, or photos of a child throwing a tantrum or anything. It’s natural for us to post happy things, happy times, and it’s natural for us to enjoy following those things and read about them. Positivity is good. But sometimes you’re having a shit-all day of parenting and you’re at the end of your rope (and feeling guilty for feeling so) and you just wonder if anyone else has had a similar day. Check IG. Nope, everyone’s children are happy and bathed in perfect natural light. Drink more wine.

( I actually follow hundreds of down to earth parents on IG who keep it real, but you know what I mean).

I think it all (unfortunately) stems back to mommy-wars (in the case of moms who blog and share online). Everyone is so afraid of others thinking life is perfect, motherhood is perfect, it doesn’t phase us and it isn’t hard. That is such a huge disservice to each other as women. Motherhood IS hard. It’s wonderful and fulfilling but hot damn, it’s not always a walk in the park. I think many of us are afraid of talking about the hard side for fear of the sanctimommy (don’t give me that red line, computer, that is a REAL word) making us feel less-than. There is always, especially on the internet, someone waiting to make themselves feel better by bashing parenting methods. I see it everywhere and it’s depressing. It’s well and alive in real-life, too, don’t get me wrong. It’s why I don’t have very many mom friends outside of the internet – I can’t take the pressure. I give my kid sugar, she watches television, she drank formula most of her infant life, etc etc etc. I’m perfectly content with all of my choices, but have a hard time not punching people in the face if they have a problem with it is the thing. Because if one thing in this life is true, it’s that I literally, literally could not care ANY less about how you raise your child. Therefor, it’s impossible for my brain to comprehend why anyone would care about how I’m raising mine. Alas!

I will say, as Harper has gotten older, it has been easier to brush off seeing people’s opinions on parenting. I laugh when I see people spew their passive aggressiveness because, get a grip. I’m confident as a mom (you know, for the most part) and mostly see hurtful comments to others or myself as that persons problem. But when I think back to how seeing things like that made me feel when Harper was an infant, when I was vulnerable and unsure, I feel badly for new moms. I’ve tried to be open with my struggles here in hopes that others could know that we are in the same boat: these tiny people are crazy. But I thought Melissa’s post was really great, very open, and thought it deserved to be shared.

As always, thanks for listening.

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  • bettina_rae22

    Ok this feels kinda weird but Mandy, meet Sash. (www.inkedincolour.com). She wrote an excellent post on this very thing just a few days ago. Loving all the honesty around here lately.


  • Emily

    oh thank you for posting this! our little one just turned three in november, and seriously….it was like “who are you, and what have you done with our sweet baby girl?!?!?!
    thank you for making me feel not alone!!!!


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dyanna-Lynne-Littke/1308418954 Dyanna Lynne Littke

    We are in three really deep right now. It is harder for two for us. There are days I feel I’m getting really creative and patient with my parenting methods- then the next day I’m doing those things and it absolutely makes no difference. Mothers need to develop the ability to support one another and just be- not judge and tear down. In other words I agree with this post.


  • http://littleorangebigworld.blogspot.com/ Nani

    This is why I love your blog so much. You tell it like it is and you always hit the nail on the head. I am also knee deep in three year oldness and I often go through cycles of questioning myself and then knowing I am doing the right thing for us. It’s a hard line mom’s have to follow for themselves and I don’t see it ever getting easier but at least we have the confidence to know that we are doing what’s right for US and other people can suck a potato.


  • CG

    I love love love when you write a long post…it makes my evening.


  • Ashley Doner

    amen. motherhood is a beast. and its ridiculous to think any human is going to do a perfect job anyway. at the end of the day i pray for grace to cover all the mistakes i make as a mom because seriously its just me and i can only do so much. the amazing thing is that graces Does seem to cover most of these kids and they turn out awesome.


  • needlenest

    I love this. Love the real connectedness of motherhood, where we all totally ‘get’ you, what you’re saying.. cuz we’re feeling it too. This is also why I’m starting up a Monday Mamalogues series for mama’s to link up and share their own stories with.. keepin’ it real! Would love your voice there too anytime you’d like to jump in. Keep being awesome mama. ;o)
    needle and nest design


  • Heather Carson

    i love your honesty, thank you for opening up that door.
    the blogs i love to follow are the truthful & dynamic ones, like yours.

    xo – heather

    This Life Is Yours Blog


  • http://www.growingupinoz.com/ Joanna

    I needed to read this post and Melissa’s post. I’ve ended the night in tears TWICE this week because of all of this. I walked my screaming 3 year old out of a chick fil a. When I sit down and think about it rationally, I can work through it all but in the moment I’m just consumed with how I have become a completely inept parent and my sweet child has morphed into a schizophrenic. But really, she’s not. I may have to remind myself every day. Sometimes eleventy billion times per day. And I’ve also been trying to remind myself that while she’s so very smart and talks like she is much older than 3, she’s not and she can’t reason the way I want her to and I need to stop expecting her to. Obviously there still needs to be lessons learned and punishment but well, why am I rambling? Three is just so very, very hard.


  • Cally Graham

    I’m so glad you’re bloggin’! All so true. My kids eat sugar and watch TV, too- and you know what? They’re loved beyond all belief! And isn’t that the most important part. Every parent is going to mess up- have a bad day- make a wrong choice every now and then, but as long as we can acknowledge our mistakes and love our lil cuties with all our hearts, we’re doin’ all right. High-fives, Mandy and Melissa. We’re all in this together, and we’re all doin’ just fine!


  • Kelley

    Thanks for writing this. I have an eight month old daughter and I already notice myself worrying about all of these things, worrying what people think and about the off-hand comments (or not so off-hand:), and if I’m doing a good enough job with her. Sometimes it is reassuring to look at people’s seemingly perfect lives with their kids on the blogs that I follow, but sometimes its discouraging too. I have to reassure myself on bad days that life isn’t perfect for anyone and we all have our struggles and parenthood isn’t supposed to be easy or perfect. We’re all doing the best we can while striving to be great at it.


  • Sara D.

    THIS EXACT THING has been on my mind/heart for the past few weeks, and was telling this to my husband last night! You (and your friend, in her blog post) have put my feelings into perfect words. I’m sick of moms competing over who is the best or who has sacrificed the most. Inevitably, it makes the kids feel like crap. Thanks for sharing!


  • http://amandamaddox.blogspot.com/ Amanda M.

    It never really ends either. My oldest is 18 ~ and I still have doubts about half the things I did in his life! Every day is a learning experience. And my 4 year old? He kicks ass at Mario Kart.


    Miranda Reply:

    My almost 4 year old is maybe better at Mario Kart than I am. No shame.


  • lilmuselily

    i agree, Melissa’s post was great. and as far as people’s opinions are concerned, of course everyone is entitled to them but they should keep them to themselves more often than not.


  • Lauren

    I agree with you completely and when I get out of work, look forward to reading Melissa’s post. I have been telling my friends your exact same message since my son was born – about being truthful and real with how hard it is being a mom! AND to talk about it with your friends! I struggled with this a lot when I suffered from postpartum depression after my son was born and I struggled greatly the first few months of his life. I wondered why no one had ever spoke of how difficult and life changing it is? Since then, I am very honest with my friends who are new moms. I don’t ever, ever want anyone to feel alone and insecure like I did. We all need support :) Thank you for your honesty. I could not agree more. Have a wonderful weekend!


  • http://twitter.com/momplex Jenny

    Sing it! Perfection is boring. And fake. I love a good mom (or a good blog entry) who can confess that there are lots of cowpies to step in on the parenting road — and who doesn’t pretend she never steps in any.


  • Kay sealedwithakay

    I always appreciate your honesty- I don’t have children, and come from a very mixed up childhood. I’m terrified of being a parent! I love kids and have always dreamed of having my own family someday. I have so much respect for parents who blog about the ups and downs of parenting. I think it’s a great tool for reflection as well. It wouldn’t be without having both the ups and downs included.

    I don’t understand a lot of people, why spreading mean words is fun or where they find all of the time to do so. One of the greatest things about the internet is that if you don’t like something, you can log off, click out, whatever. It’s not like you work next to the person or have to interact with them if you disagree or don’t like the way they live their life. Silly people, sheesh!


  • http://www.adayinmollywood.com molly

    I read her post too and found myself nodding in agreement. I definitely show my vulnerable side on my blog. I write about those bad days because when I look back and read it over it gives me perspective. I hate the judging. HATE. I’m not perfect and newsflash – neither are all those who think they’re perfect.


  • Beth

    thank you.


  • Stacey

    So true. I read her post too and even though mine is only almost two I completely get it. I appreciate your honesty. Now that I have my second child I am in the same boat – could care less, whereas when I was a new Mom I was so sensitive to other’s judgements. I always love the way you put things (I guess it’s just cause I share many of the same opinions as you). I recently did a post that talked a bit about the dark side of mother hood too and I hope other Moms can relate. Keep saying what’s on your mind cause there are plenty who can relate!


  • http://twitter.com/mightymessymama Shannon

    dang, mandy. I just found you. yours is the blog I wish I wrote :) I’m excited to have found a blogger who “speaks” to me. Not that I think you’re actually speaking to only me.that would be weird. I like your mommy style. and I can appreciate that you’re not making all of us other mommy bloggers feel weird because we don’t wear crazy expensive swedish clogs.


  • fearsandfancies.blogspot.com

    Thanks for sharing. I’m not yet a mom, but the idea alone makes me shiver with nervousness. This helps.


  • suzy

    Thank you. x


  • http://alazycrazylife.blogspot.com/ beckyj @ alazycrazylife

    I love this post, especially since I’m NOT one of those bloggers who only posts about unicorns and rainbows, as evidenced here (http://alazycrazylife.blogspot.com/2012/12/how-do-you-reason-with-crazy-person.html) and here (http://alazycrazylife.blogspot.com/2012/07/i-cant-go-through-this-again.html) if you need proof. And I can also wholly sympathize with you on how 3yos are NO JOKE OMG. Thanks for your honesty.


  • Jessica

    Great post. Thanks for sharing Melissa’s post as well. Your honesty is what made me a follower!


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1122680525 Shannon Connolley-Maida

    Rock solid!!


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephanie-Nelsen/1534839672 Stephanie Nelsen

    true! all of it : ) …we struggled through 2 and 3 and sometimes part of 4. but 4.5 – 5.5 have been so fun that i want to freeze time right here for a bit.


  • http://www.berriesandgraphite.blogspot.com/ Sara

    You are amazing. Being a parent is hard, incredible as all get out, but hard and I love hearing about all angles of the experience. The shiny sides are fun to see, but I’m even more drawn to the hard truths. Thank you for always sharing so honestly.


  • http://twitter.com/retrokitty Colleen Panzer

    Ah parenting online. When I switched over to formula when my oldest was just over a month old, I got slack from people online for not going to a milk bank. I had to switch to formula because he was LITERALLY STARVING and felt terrible about failing as a mom and stuff. Like, I cried at a breastfeeding PSA that aired during Glee. But instead of hugs, I got “well meaning” guilt trips that said I still wasn’t getting it right.

    Meanwhile, I open up my heart about being lonely on my anniversary while my husband was in Afghanistan, and my comment section is crickets. The Internet is weird.


  • Kym Piez

    Love your fresh approach and honesty. I totally agree with you about the twos being great. It was the threes and the f8@$ing fours that lost it with me. Boys. I blame it on the hormones. Everyone has a different journey, and that’s okay. I like the honest ones thought ;) x


  • mimi

    love all these words! so much. sorry so off topic, can you bring back hott, as a one time deal. misssssss it lots!


  • Peach Remian

    Thank you so much for this.You have no idea how much I needed to hear this at just this exact moment. I adore your blog, xo


  • http://fourplusanangel.com/ jessica

    I completely get this, I have read so many things in the past that leave me wondering why I can’t do the same. There is a great quote about not comparing your life to someone else’s highlight reel and I think that applies perfectly to blogging. Oh and 3? It is currently kicking my butt.


  • http://twitter.com/BipolarMomLife Bipolar Mom

    I really love your blog, but when people refer to another’s behavior as “bi-polar” in a light and joking way, it’s kindof feels like a slap in the face to those of us actually living with it. It is like the word “retarded” being used as an adjective. Please be more considerate, please.

    Your family is adorable and I’m so happy for you that you are expecting baby #2. There is nothing more magical than seeing your kids playing and laughing together. I wish you all the best during your pregnancy and beyond.


    Mandy Reply:

    You’re totally right. It won’t happen again, and thank you for bringing it up. I’m sorry about being insensitive, and thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it!


    Bipolar Mom Reply:

    Thanks, Mandy. I also wanted to tell you how much I admire your writing. Always have, ever since I started reading your blog about a year ago. You have such a great voice in the way you describe your family and your parenting. Keep up the great work. :)


  • http://twitter.com/amazonmad MJ in LA

    This! I’m fairly new to your blog, but I’m happy to see you don’t buy into the ‘mommy-wars’ crap. I’ve been put off a lot of blogs by their unrealistic portrayal of non-stop rainbows and sparkles, or harsh judgement of different parenting choices. I appreciate it so much more when someone is honest about whatever struggles they’re going through at the time. I’d rather just get my pretty picture fix from Instagram… and I’ll be back here, for sure.


  • sarah

    I don’t read blogs unless I get the sense that the writer is honest about life. I love people when they’re real and you’re one of my favorites. Thank you for this.


  • http://peachonearth.blogspot.com/ elizabeth santana

    yep. its what bums me out sometimes with blogs. i love seeing photos that are well taken. lighting, angles blah blah… but i get annoyed when everything is always so perfect. i like realness. i try to capture the happy moments in my life and thats mainly what i post on ig. but when i do open up about the parenting hardships i usually get supportive feedback and it feels great! i struggle so hard sometimes balancing two kids. and its gotten way better. but the discipline we need to teach our kids is hard for a parent and i have tried reaching out to moms who have children older than mine and it seems too touch to share. i don’t like comparing myself or my children but we can learn so much from each other. i love reading your blog… even though i haven’t been here in a while. i completely understand what u’re talking about!


  • http://www.theveggiemama.com Veggie Mama

    hot damn, you’re so right. Little people are nuts! And I have just had a new one, so the toddler one has watched TV for about 4 straight months. Gold star parenting, right there.


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