Can Parents Brag Without Sounding Like a Jerk?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 won’t 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?
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Photo credit: © Devan McGuinness