In Defense of Katherine Heigl's BlogStefanie Wilder Taylor
Katherine Heigl wrote a post for iVilliage about how she feels she failing as a mother. She says, “I was failing. I was failing my work, I was failing my daughter, I was failing my husband. I was stressed out and exhausted…I couldn’t appreciate or enjoy the moments with Naleigh because I feared they weren’t enough for her and knew they weren’t enough for me.” So Katherine is getting a lot of backlash from people who hate to hear anyone, especially a celebrity, whine about how tough we find the gig of balancing life, work and being a mom. Well I call bullshit! Despite the fact that I haven’t watched Grey’s Anatomy in many seasons and that I avoided that movie about a bunch of dresses like the plague (not because of her but because I don’t enjoy most rom coms), I don’t have any problem with Katherine Heigl being honest about her difficulties.
Sometimes I really suck as a parent. Or at least I worry that I do. Not all the time mind you. Not even a lot of the time. But definitely sometimes. At least in my own eyes. I know that we’re all doing the best we can. But, one of the things I like most about blogging and reading other people’s blogs is the honesty I find. I would hope that whining/venting about the times we fall extremely short in our efforts to be Mom of the Year would be the exception and not the rule, none-the-less, those are the posts that make me feel less alone in this vast uncharted territory we all call parenting. There are about a zillion ways to mess up everyday and I believe we mothers and fathers feel this fear like a Greek chorus in our heads a lot. And not just the neurotic freaks like me. It comes with the package.
Here’s my take on it. We should all be good parents and I’m sure most of us are. If you’re blogging about parenting you obviously care about doing a decent job. You are interested in all things parenting. You want to know what slings your neighbor is using and who you can plan a cyber baby shower for and whether or not you should entrust a thirteen-year-old with the care of your toddler. Let’s face it, most likely you aren’t living in a trailer, shotgunning Pabst Blue , spanking the living shit out of your child’s rear end for daring to ask for another cookie. And if I’m wrong, I guess I haven’t come across your blog yet.
Being a decent well meaning parent should be our baseline. Yes, we’re all good moms most of the time. We all want our babies to feel loved, nurtured, breastfed (until they’re 15) have high self esteem, learn their ABC’s (in Spanish, French and Mandarin) and always always always know how we love them so much we almost can’t breathe when we watch them sleep. How we sometimes have dreams we can’t find them, dreams so real we wake up in a cold sweat, tears running down our sleep deprived cheeks and walk around not feeling right for the rest of the day. Most of us would throw ourselves into traffic to protect them but first take them on an educational trip to the frog exhibit at the museum. Yes, this is the parenting 101 part. But what about the days where we don’t feel we’re living up to even the basics? Isn’t it cathartic to write THAT? Isn’t it cathartic to READ that?
It’s how we feel and it’s real even if we’re Katherine Heigl. It’s as real as it gets because parenting brings on a new challenge every. single. day. No one day has passed since my children have been born that I didn’t question at least one decision I’ve made. Yes there are certain days I bet other women would kill for my patience, my effortless enthusiasm for the thirtieth straight reading of Pinkalicious, my attention span for an almost unintelligible four minute story about fairies. But that’s not funny nor highly relatable. So I don’t blog about those things.
I write to share the blemishes. It’s also why I read. To be honest, I don’t care what a fantastic parent you are. That’s not what I learn from. I don’t care about how grateful you are about all that you have, how amazing and helpful your in-laws are, or how secure you feel in your marriage. I learn from hearing your fears and insecurities. I learn from hearing about how you almost lost it and yelled “SHUT UP PLEASE!!!” to your three-year-old. Or the time it wasn’t almost.
That’s how I feel bonded with you. That’s what keeps me reading you. Well that and humor. If you make me laugh I forgive all else. So maybe I should cancel my subscription to MS. Magazine? I would but unfortunately I only have a subscription to Entertainment Weekly. How do you think I”m so up on Katheryn Heigl?