Friday, September 26, 2014

OMG, stop it with the overly sentimental posts about giving children attention

I'm not the world's greatest blogger, and I don't pretend to be.  I don't necessarily want to market myself on blogher.  I write for my own benefit mostly, and it is great that I have friends and friends of friends who read it.  Most of the time, if someone makes a comment about my blog (or my FB posts), it is usually along the lines of, "What you wrote is exactly how I feel, but I'm too embarrassed to admit it."  

I try to walk the fine line between getting too sentimental stupid about raising my children and feeling like I hate every second of motherhood, and that is a delicate balancing act.  

But let me just say it right now, I cannot stand those posts about the guilt over not giving ones' child attention.  The ones about telling a child to hold on or wait a second or not jumping up the instant a child asks his/her mom for something.

Historically people had 6+ children and didn't have time to give their children oodles of individual attention.  They were too damn busy working to feed their kids.  Their kids were too busy working to ask for attention.  Or the parents were working, and the kids were running in the streets.  And somehow humanity has kept going all this time.

Modern day parenting is an anomaly.  This ridiculous obsession with parenting, with mothers in particular being the central character who controls whether children become absolute saints or sinners, started in the 1950s and has only gotten worse.  

Do you know what happens when I actually make a concerted effort to give my children my undivided attention?   I have to watch N do 15,000 very poorly done cartwheels.  She is 10 years old, over 5 feet tall and totally uncoordinated.  I have to listen to Graeme talk about Minecraft in a stream of consciousness the likes of which James Joyce only wishes he could have done so well in Ulysses.  

Sometimes when I try to give my children attention they flat out ignore my efforts.  N will say, "Momma, will you play dolls with me?"  So I go into her room to play dolls and she dorks around, doing g*d knows what but not playing with me.  I'm sitting on the floor in a mound of doll clothes, brushing plastic hair, and thinking, 'I am 41 f*cking years old and have no desire to do this especially when my kid wants me to play but then doesn't sit her a$$ down to play."  

I cannot tell the number of times G has asked me to come to school to eat lunch with him.  I go, and he says not one fricking word to be while I'm sitting next to him at the table.  The other first graders jabber away at me until I have a colossal headache, but G ignores me completely.  

Do you know what kind of sh*ts kids are whose parents stop the world so that they can speak or play or whatever?  

I can love my children, help them with homework, eat lunch with them a couple times a month, read with them every night, and not drop every single solitary thing I am doing so that they can show me some goofy "feat of childhood" that isn't very interesting, amusing or amazing, like burping their ABCs.  

Sometimes my kids need to understand that they have to wait for me to finish what I'm doing.  They don't always come first.  Sometimes they don't even come second.  

That isn't poor mothering about which I should feel guilty.  
That is learning about real life in a loving environment.  

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