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Can Parents Brag Without Sounding Like a Jerk?

By Devan McGuinness |

I remember before I started reading blogs and articles from real people just how isolated I felt in Motherhood. It was before I started my own blog and I was the first of my family and friends to have children and felt like I had no idea what I was doing. As I learned my new role as ‘mom’, my mind would wander to the notion that I am failing and just wasn’t cut out for this.

I only had television and my own mom (who can never do wrong in my eyes) to compare myself to and by those standards I didn’t measure up. I wasn’t perfectly dressed every day, meals were quick and not always the most healthy, I felt frazzled, with non-perfect house and kids who did not always behave.

When I discovered the world of the “mom-blogs” and real people who spoke what life was really like with little kids, I felt so relieved. No matter how many times my mom would assure me that I was doing just fine and things were not perfect for her, for some reason reading the words from other women helped me realize I am doing just as every other mom seemed to be doing. I grew in confidence as I managed a household with three young kids and was able to keep my sanity with it. The more I read and talked to people the more common it started to become to talk about the hard times raising children, the stresses we face and how we can never seem to find balance. And that is a good thing.

Now, a few years out of the super crazy stage of three kids under three, I am now finding myself feeling isolated again. This time it’s for the opposite reason and now I wonder if the pendulum has swung too far to one side.

Life now is much different then when I first entered the mom gig. I feel like I have really hit my groove, found the perfect stride and I have relaxed on a lot of things that I know won’t be this way forever. I have, as my blog name suggests — become accustomed to the chaos that comes along with raising children and I would even say thrive in it.

I am doing an awesome job managing three young kids full time while managing a large work load full time (yes, working from home with no child care), completing house chores and making it all work, for us. It wasn’t easy to find this groove, it may not last too long, but I want to be able to talk about this big accomplishment of finding some sense of balance in my life — no matter how long or short it lasts.

Problem is, when I do talk about it, I am often met with a lot of “but’s”.

…”but you are probably not paying attention to your kids.
…”but you should make sure you are taking time for you too.
…”but you must be some kind of super-mom.
…”but you are for sure going to crash soon.
…”but surely you can’t keep doing this forever.
…”but it wont be this easy forever.”
…”but you’re not managing *this* as well.

Or it’s met with an eye roll and behind-your-back comments about how you are shoving your ‘pretend perfect life’ in someones’s face. It’s also annoying that it’s even called a ‘brag’ just because I am a mom, who instead of only sharing the bad/complaining — also wants to share when I feel successful, when I feel good about what I (or my kids) have accomplished. And that the balance that every mother seems to crave finding — can actually happen!

When did the balance of sharing the bad and good become so hard to find? I will agree that if all I hear from someone is how awesome they or their kids are — it gets annoying. It’s also annoying to hear from a person over and over again about how this sucks, or that sucks or nothing but whines.

So, I ask you — as parents are we able to brag about our lives without sounding like an assh*le — or do people only want to hear what’s not working?

More on Babble Kids:
Realistic or Not – 11 Movie Moms I Wish To Be More Like
7 Things NOT To Say To The Parent Who Has It All Together
When Being Bad is Funny: 13 Hilarious Detention Slips

Read more from  on Accustomed ChaosUnspoken Grief
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Photo credit: © Devan McGuinness

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About Devan McGuinness

devanmcguinness

Devan McGuinness

Devan McGuinness is the writer of the lifestyle website byDevan. After surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan founded Unspoken Grief, a resource and support site for perinatal and neonatal loss. Read bio and latest posts → Read Devan's latest posts →

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5 thoughts on “Can Parents Brag Without Sounding Like a Jerk?

  1. Cheree says:

    Devan,
    I don’t see any problem with you being proud of you accomplishments of being a work at home mom, being a great parent, and still keeping a well balanced home. I think a lot of people only want to hear what is not working. No matter how big or small our accomplishments, we have the right to brag and be proud of it.

  2. Samira says:

    I went from having a great guy willing to help and able to help me find balance to having a guy who enjoyed his after work drinks with the guys too much and wouldn’t come home until I had done it all and was off to work myself. I am now a single mother for the most part and my child is hitting the “terrible twos” stage this morning she decided to dump all three of her large toy boxes all over my kitchen her bedroom and the living room floors knock a carton of easter eggs off the table and go running around babbling and screaming about dogs and whatever else. She is a good kid for the most part and I do still manage to keep sane thank goodness for my dad or I wouldn’t have a job to support her with because I would have no child care while I worked. Bragging? Whining? I appreciate keeping it real.

  3. Anon says:

    No, you can’t. Bragging is always wrong. If you’re life is perfect, enjoy its perfection. Perfection doesn’t need a blog post or a community.

  4. Stacey says:

    Devan
    I think you have every right to share your accomplishments with others. I can’t even believe somebody would actually try to burst your bubble with “buts” or “howevers”. That’s not fair. I think us mothers need to support and learn from each other. We’re all on this crazy ride together. Good for you for finding that groove that works for your family!

  5. Jennifer Lindsay says:

    There is nothing wrong with expressing good things about your kids that you are proud of. I hate it when people you aren’t talking too eaves drop on your conversation and then start to make comments behind your back! it’s like really?!you could at least have the courtesy to say it to my face since you were so rude to eaves drop anyway. I have three boys and when they do something I am proud of I share it if people don’t like it too bad.

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