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Dropping the superwoman crap

July 14, 2012

I often feel spurred on to write blog posts as a result of some of the things I see/read on facebook and this is no exception. My inspiration for this post went something along the lines of “My baby naps longer if I cuddle him. Should I cuddle him or should I try to discourage clinginess?”

I’m no parenting expert. In fact, I carry a certain amount of guilt, regret and doubt about my ability as a parent on my shoulders. This is probably quite normal- I’m only Human afterall. What I can say for sure is that every parent and every child is different. It would be boring if that wasn’t the case. However, society’s norms appear to shove these (and everyone else, for that matter) into a nicely labelled box and expect us to behave accordingly.

Whereas (not so) many years ago, women (yes, usually just women) would have stayed home to look after the children to school age and beyond, modern western society appears to shun such acts of heinous martyrdom. For a start, many women are working full time, in high-flying careers before they come upon the idea of having children. They plan their pregnancies, give birth and head pretty quickly back into the workplace, for financial reasons, to stay ‘at the top of their game’ or due to a lack of support from the governement. They need to have a decent night’s sleep to function through a working day and baby needs to be smoothly integrated into the daycare situation so there’s little room for clinginess.

Some parents read books…and whilst parenting books are generally a good thing, there are many that I loathe, though I won’t start an all-out ‘attack the author’ here: These people are clearly more ‘expert’ than I am with my 2 years of ‘work experience’…

The point I’m (badly) trying to make here is: Is there actually any room for nurturing love for babies and children in today’s society? We’re under such pressure as mothers, as fathers, as people to be a functioning piece of the machine. We need to do the housework, the shopping, the washing, to handle the affairs of daily life. We have little time for three-hour cuddles from 9.30 am or two-hour bedtimes with story-reading, hand-holding and song-singing after a long hard day at work. We want a quick solution, personal space, time for us and for our partners.

This is where my ‘This too shall pass’ mantra comes in. The bad AND the good will eventually pass and will be replaced by some other bad and good things. There have been times I’ve been full of resentment, thinking about all the things I could be doing while I was instead lying in a dark room, attempting to get P to go to sleep or nursing or doing something that demanded my attention when I would have preferred to be doing something else. Then I dropped the superwoman crap, accepted that this is what’s required of me at this current time and felt a shitload better about myself.

It’s not easy. There are still demands from all sides, pulling me in different directions but I have a little while to practise before the tantrum-throwing 2-year-old turns into a tantrum-throwing-teen!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. taurusmom18 permalink
    July 15, 2012 02:31

    Such a great post. I think this world would be a better place if people thought it more important to cuddle their babies and do all the things you described. Too many babies become an addition to a lifestyle instead of a change to it.

  2. July 15, 2012 02:47

    Babe, all that washing, cleaning, cooking, cuddling, snot wiping, tear drying and partner juggling whilst staying clean showered, non alcoholic and mostly sane…. You’re still superwoman.

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