Thursday, April 4, 2013


Now that the kids are quickly closing in on three and five years old, I've had an opportunity to reflect on what it's like to raise two small people. Up to this point of course. There are many more challenges and rewards to come. There are so many little things that make them uniquely who they are. Many memories of  "appy ju" and crossed eyes. Wrestling them away from the park and sending tiny people off on the school bus for the first time. Lot's of everyday memories of sisters growing up together and becoming best friends. There are lots of fantastic rights of passage when raising a little person or two. There are also some that are best avoided but, for some reason, many new parents find themselves pulled into.

 One of the things I won't miss are the so called "Mommy Wars" that seem to preoccupy the lives of many new parents, especially moms. In one moment, an innocent search on the Internet for advice, can turn into a battle of who's right, who's wrong, and why you should feel guilty about every decision you've made thus far. Do you breastfeed or bottle feed? WHY? Do you sleep train? Do you use a soother? Yes? No? WHY? Cloth or disposables? Epidural or natural? Co sleeping or crib? WHY? Here's a hint; everything you answer is wrong. At least that's how it can feel at the time. Everyone with a keyboard, Internet access and an opinion is suddenly a "expert" and will feel compelled to educate you in the correct way of raising your children. In as much has the Internet can be a great resource to find support and common ground, it can also pull that ground out from under you if you let it.

Now that I have the benefit of hindsight, I'm amazed, truly amazed at how utterly insignificant any of that is at this point in time. The battles that people waged online defending their own positions seem like tiny wars waged by ants. Sure a big deal for the ants, but in the great wide world, it's a tiny ripple. It may be reassuring to know, if you are a newer mom or still well immersed in babies and toddlers, that this will all pass. Not even with a bang or a whimper; but more with a disregarded fizzle. Your life moves on. You're occupied with other things, including your own life, not that solely of your children's. When your kids are three and five, no one cares if you breastfed. No one cares when they were potty trained. No one cares when they finally slept through the night. Why? I don't know. Perspective I guess. The point being at some point we all move on, so don't sweat the small stuff. You may as well get a head start worrying about how you're going to pay for their university tuition.


  1. Mommy wars drive me nuts. They're driven by a select few extremely vocal people who use sensational facts to guilt moms, who in turn become defensive about their choices. I didn't spend much time online before Brandon turned one. Otherwise, I think I'd have been a nervous wreck!

    In a way I get it. You've transitioned into the most responsibility you'll ever have - raising a human being. That little person is defenceless and dependent. No one wants to screw it up. The thing we forget is that the parents who care enough not to screw up really will be attentive enough to do the best they can - whatever the choices they make.

    1. You're right,of course. It's a shame that the voice of common sense is often drowned out of the conversation. People need to start having a different conversation altogether I guess.

  2. I tried to always be confident about my decisions for my baby. I tried to make the best choices I could given the situation. Everyone's situation is unique. I could never berate someone else for making the choices that were right for them. In fact I think it's more important that we support each other, yes ask questions if we are curious, but not make judgements or comparisons that are unfair. I did not cosleep, I did give formula AND I breastfed, I threw away diapers . Now, he's almost 6 and he is happy, healthy, active, and mostly perfect. (Ok, I'm biased but really, who isn't?) :) With number 2 on the way, I will do far less reading on the internet and just trust myself and my partner in crime. We know what we are doing. Most days.

  3. I think part of it is, once your on to our second or your first has grown some, you realize there are no right answers and no one really KNOWS any better than you. It's not like someone slipped them a secret instruction manual or anything. Intent is often more important than the result. Sure, I may not know what I'm doing or getting it right, but it comes from a place of love and care, so it's not WRONG, it's a different RIGHT.

  4. For the first two years of my little one's life, I had a construction job that required a two hour commute. For a year, we worked four ten hour days, so I was driving by four and home at dusk. I barely got to see the little guy and I felt horribly guilty.

    My older two, I saw a little more frequently, however I didn't feel like a good Dad. I was usually exhausted, grumpy and too sore to play.

    Today, my youngest is eight, my middle on is twelve and my eldest is fifteen (and he just got his driving permit). I have a computer job with a five minute commute and I see more of my kids than I used to.

    But you know what they remember, and mostly what I remember too, from those years? They remember that I made a point of going into their classrooms every year to juggle. They remember that I joked with them and tickled them, that we went on picnics, in the mountains and other places that were fun.

    They don't remember that I was usually too tired to do much, only that I was there and that I joked with them and loved them.

    Jennifer, you are right, perspective is what takes over I miss having little kids, but I also love having older kids. I just love being a parent.


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