Wednesday, September 30, 2009


One thing that I really look for in the people I make connections with is emotional honesty. I talk with lots of pregnant women and lots of new mothers and lots of experienced moms, and I feel like I KNOW what it's like down in the trenches of motherhood.

There are so many wonderful things about having these little people around that call us "Mommy" and want only us when they are hurt or scared. It is rewarding beyond measure and satisfying beyond words.


It's also a relentless, all-consuming, thankless job, being someones personal butt wiper, chef, laundress, butler, and milk factory. Sometimes we just want QUIET. Or SPACE. Or a SHOWER without also refereeing a cat fight through the curtain.

There are a handful of people that come to mind (nope, not you!) that are just so Rose-colored-lens when it comes to EVERYTHING, but most especially their kids. Their babies only spit up mint flavored, chocolate molded butterflies! And their night waking is a bliss-filled three hours of teaching baby signs! And mopping up the floor 3857312 times a day is a GIFT FROM GOD HIMSELF, THANK YOU JESUS FOR THESE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN.

Well, that's all good, but I can sniff out authenticity from at least 2 city blocks away. The real damage to mothers everywhere is done by these phony-bologna attitudes, because some moms (especially new moms) feel guilty about their own spit-up stained, filthy-floors existence when they listen to that crap.

I'm not saying that we all need to bitch and moan about every challenge we face. (I have a cousin on FB that does just that, and it's equally annoying). However, I love to have real conversations about our experiences.

I feel like the blog world, or at least the tiny corner of it that I am a part of, excels at Telling It Like It Is. So thank you, blog friends for being so honest about your lives.

(Also, it must be said, I feel lucky to have so many brick-and-mortar moms that ALSO have formed a community of truth. If I've invited you to read this blog, you must be part of that tribe!)

Many women of today are banding together to support each other through the peaks and valleys of raising kids. But my husband? He does not have this same support either IRL or online. I feel like there is a real gap for DADS these days, in terms of sharing their experiences and communing together.

Do any of your male partners have an outlet for this sort of thing, where they can "bond" with other dads/men through shared parenting experiences? Or is it mostly just a girl thing?


d e v a n said...

I agree that Dads have fewer resources for bonding about being dads, but I also think they seek it out less.

desperate housewife said...

I would say Jim has a few good dad friends with whom he can bond about fatherhood, but again, as Devan said, since guys aren't (usually) in the throes of it 24/7 the way some of us moms are, I think they tend to feel the need for those outlets a little less. I do agree in general though that men (at least white middle class type men) in our society actually have a lot less opportunity for venting, complaining, bonding, etc. Because they are the white male so what on EARTH could they have to complain about, right? They should be thanking all the women and minorites on whose backs they have climbed to reach the top!
And while that's partly true, it's also partly bs and if I were a guy, would royally piss me off.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

You are one of my favorite truth tellers out there! And your pitch-perfect comments never cease to amaze (and support and encourage) me.

CG's best bud also has two daughters and when I ask him if they ever talk about what fatherhood is like he says "yeah but not like you and your girlfriends do" by which I think he means they don't talk for HOURS basically repeating the same stories over and over again, crying and hugging. (I think that would be really, really good for them both!)

Erin said...

Mine doesn't have much, but I think it's enough for him. He's got some work friends who mostly joke about child-rearing type stuff. And my brother-in-laws are good that way. Mostly, I think it IS a girl/ mom thing. And it's one of the main reasons I love blogging & reading blogs. I have found so many honest moms (like you!) who bolter even when they don't realize it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you whole heartedly about not being able to handle all sunshine/rainbows/fluffy bunnies type moms. It isn't real to me.

You are also correct about dads not having the same kind of outlet. We have one SAHD in our neighborhood (whom I've never met) and I wonder how lonely he is for someone to have real conversations with.

Anonymous said...

Funny how we are on the same page...this has been on my mind a lot lately...I have had many o conversation up this alley as of late (not about the dad part, though). I know someone horribly damaged by this "perfection" you talk of. It ruined her and sent her into deep places, although she was standing on the edge already. Its too bad - I was just this morning, trying to come up with some witty comment for my fb status about this...but alas. Anyway, Josh doesn't have an outlet for this, but neither does he seem to need it - maybe because their identity is less wrapped up in the dad role and more about their ability to provide? Anyway, thank you for being real. I insist on it. (tammy)

KS said...

Interesting you bring this up about dads. My husband just the other day asked me if there are any daddy blogs out there that I know of. He hears me speak about reading mommy blogs (I retell him some of the funny stories or interesting perspectives), and I think he needs this sort of connection as well. Do you know any? I feel really bad for him--his network of friends locally is pretty nonexistent. Where we live is such a transient area--people move all the time, and we've lost quite a few friends this way. Plus, in this area, all of the men who are professionally in positions similar to my husband's seem to have stay-at-home wives--so he has less in common with them because I am not a SAHM, and we, as family, face somewhat different challenges because we both work (not to say that we have it tougher or eaiser--just different in some aspects). I know he desparately needs a connection with other dads like him, but he doesn't know how to find them. It is much more difficult for men, I think--they have less opportunity to connect than we do because they define friendships differently than we do. In any case, I will stop blabbing--but if you have any recommendations for good dad blogs, let me know.

Swistle said...

WOOT, and also I think that men must not NEED it as much as we do, or else they'd MAKE it.

shruley said...

Amen and Amen!! It's those moms that drive me nuts AND make me cry at night when I have one of my many less-than-perfect parenting moments. My husband could probably use lots of support in that area, I agree it's lacking. Especially in the challenges of raising a household of girls!

Kelsey said...

Ah yes, I think finding the truth in these blogs saved me from the isolation I was drowning in when Harper was a baby.

I try to truth-tell too, and I get very easily frustrated when I feel like people only share the good/happy things about life with kids.