As a blogger and freelance writer, I am constantly trying to find a balance between writing quality pieces, and writing pieces that get the clicks. Sometimes, I find the perfect combination of the two, and things go crazy for a while. And then I realize I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, after all.
For me, this is also motherhood.
I am constantly trying to figure out how to be a good parent who knows how to handle her kids in all sorts of situations. I keep thinking, “C’mon, you’re a second-time mom. You’ve got a teenage stepdaughter, a three-year-old and a baby boy who’s about to turn one. Don’t you have it figured out yet?”
The answer is no.
I. Know. Nothing.
I see all these articles and blog posts floating around the internet, and they’re talking about 7 Ways to Solve This Problem, 14 Steps to Helping your Child Do That. I read the headlines, and sometimes I click through, to try and learn something.
But mostly? I see those articles and feel like complete crap. Because I keep wondering how all the other moms know so much more than I do. The internet can be a great resource to help you learn things and become a better person or something, but it can also be the entrance to a giant pit of despair. Despair because you get caught up in comparing yourself to others and quickly determine that you don’t measure up.
Every other mom out there has got it together. And I don’t.
Sure, when I hang out with my Mom Friends, I like to go along with whatever conversation they’re having, nodding and smiling away. “Oh yes, ha ha ha! Tummy-time and learning to self-soothe, and talking my three year old down from inexplicable tantrums, and also making sure they’re being read to enough and eating balanced meals! All of those things!”
But I walk away fairly certain that what I’ve been doing with my kids is wrong, and maybe that’s why my daughter still isn’t potty-trained and there are 4 of us sleeping in a queen-sized bed, with an empty crib that has become my newest closet to hang clothes on.
I do not have all the answers. I’m pretty sure I don’t even have ONE answer.
I keep trying to come up with new posts that will help other parents. That’s what everyone wants to read, right? But I’ve got nothing.
So I guess this is my confession, and I may as well start wearing it like a badge of honour: I have no answers.
My first kid was an absolute mystery to me. She didn’t fit any standard baby mold. My second kid has spent this last year schooling me in how different he is from her, in every goddamn way. I had my teenage stepdaughter move in with us last fall, having probably lived with us for less than 1/10th of her life. So that’s been a bit of a lesson, too.
I have to make all this shit up, on a daily basis. Most of the time, I think I’m failing miserably. But they’re all still alive, so I can’t be that bad, right?
Neither are you.
I’m going to keep writing, but I’ll tell you right now: this is not the place you should be visiting for answers. I’m going to keep writing so that you know that you’re not alone, out there. So keep coming here to see that someone else is struggling, that someone else doesn’t have the answers, that someone else is trying to laugh instead of cry, but sometimes cries anyway.
And I’ll be here.