Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mommy Blogs

What do paramedic supervisors do in the middle of an extremely slow 24 hour shift when they are tired of doing QA/QI?
Answer....they read Mommy blogs. At least I do.

Mommy blogs are a variety of their own. I tend to favor conservative/large family/Quiverfull/homeschool blogs, not because I agree with or identify with them, but because it interests me. What really interests me, to be honest, is how someone can have 12 kids, homeschool, can all their own food from the garden, sew Regency period costumes, and still have a lovely, daily updated blog complete with advertisers and hundreds of readers. Quite frankly, I suspect what their children are really doing is watching Sesame Street and flooding the toilets. I also will be brutally honest and tell you that in a few years, when Josh starts Special Josh School, and I have Nicholas, Zachary, Elisabeth and Matthew running around, I will probably not blog at all.

(Note: yes, I have named my future children, so hopefully I really do have four boys and one girl, and I really do tell Josh that he gets to go to Special Josh School when he's five instead of having to sit a desk in Regular Boring Everyone Else's School. Usually when I tell him this, he just gives me a toothless, slobbery kiss and I melt into a puddle of Mommy mush.)

And here, I'm not talking about the women I read who updated every few days, posting interesting articles on their family life and all that. I love those blogs, especially the ones from other wives of firefighters, because then I know I'm not alone when the baby is sick, the house is a mess, the dog has run off and gotten himself in puppy jail, and the freezer is melting, and there's no relief in site because my husband is off on a 24 hour overtime shift AGAIN. No, I'm talking about the blog writers who go on and on about how wonderful they are, how wonderful their homeschooling is, how clean and nicely decorated their house is, and in between all of this writing, they managed to put up 274 quarts of applesauce, handpicked from apple trees in their backyard that they fertilize with the special organic fertilizer they make in their kitchen. While their five year old is doing algebra at the dining room table and their fourteen year old daughter is busy sewing a complete fall wardrobe for the entire family. And how anyone who doesn't live up to that standard is, at best, a complete failure as a mother and probably is secretly a die-hard feminist careerist who didn't want kids in the first place.

That's a standard that (a) nobody can live up to and (b) why would you want to, anyway? Fifty years from now, is my son going to care that I had a beautiful blog attracting hundreds of readers and Special Homemade Applesauce, or is he going to care that I spent my time at home on the floor with him, rolling a ball back and forth? Is he going to remember the homemade decorations on the walls, or the afternoons we went to the park? Is my son going to feel horribly neglected and become a psychopath because Mommy chose to work one shift a week, or his he going to look back and remember his dad bringing him every week to see Mommy at work, and all the love and attention he gets from his firefighter/EMT "uncles." (Plus, it's pretty cool when you're four months and you get to sleep on the stretcher while Mommy does a rig check)

So I'm calling shenanigans on some of these Mommy blogs I read. Number one, I don't believe it. I don't believe that anyone can do everything this women are claiming they do, and do it all well. Something has to give, and I think in these cases, it's probably the kids. And number two, that isn't an ideal that I want for my life. I don't want to be so busy doing all these "good" things(blogging, sewing, cleaning, decorating, etc) that I forget WHY I'm doing them--my family. I don't want to get so wrapped up in what I think I SHOULD be doing, based on these Mommy blog claims, that I wake up and watch my son get in the car and leave for college, and wonder what happened to my little boy with the toothless, slobbery kisses.

Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters are those kisses.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Babies don't keep

mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth
hang out the washing, make up the bed,
sew on a button and butter the bread.

where is the mother who's house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue
Lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Pat-a-cake darling, and peek, peekaboo.

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockabye, lullaby loo

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.