Wrapped up in baby goodness, playgroups, and glitter, Mommies everywhere are reading the Mommy blogs and trying to absorb every ounce of useful information. “How to make my baby sleep all night” and “Will my toddler ever stop picking his nose” are key topics in those Mommy blogs. Those blogs aren't for everyone.
They are for a very select group and that time doesn't last. Children grow up, turn to teens and then everyone stops talking about parenting them.
Let's talk more about life for women beyond babies and PTA. Let's talk to each other about the hard things so we are prepared for the realness of what comes after strollers and elementary school. Life after that gets real, and we as adults are sometimes scared to talk about it. Parenting SUCKS and it gets better. But then it sucks again. Really… that's the reality.
Think about the blogs about parenting teens and young adults. They are either blogs talking about structured programs to rehab your troubled teen. Blogs talking about how friggen perfect there teens are. Or they are religious blogs… for troubled teens or therapy programs for parents. Trust me… when my teens were trouble, I was online looking for wisdom and didn't find it.
For a long time I held back. I didn't want to talk about my teens, family, life. It seemed like I was talking about them behind their backs or something dark.
But here's the thing. My kids didn't give a crap about my blog. In fact even as adults they don't read it. It's personal, it's a life their Mom has that they don't need to read I guess. And that's okay. However they are all very supportive of it and proud that it is something I feel passionate about. And finally we have stopped banging our heads as we tried to figure out our kids weird behavior and began to see the light.
Life isn't only about parenting
Some of us women who have been through the life war zone and came out to the other side have some great stories to tell. There are still people looking to know what's next and if they aren't the only ones that are sick of talking about what the kids are doing. How about how to have a better sex life after being married for 20 years? What about coping with life when life really sucks?
We need more women talking about life after babies, life without kids, and life in general. Women are more than baby breeders. And sometimes it feels like that's all we are reduced to. Perhaps this is why more and more women have chosen not to have children and aren't feeling bad about it.
It used to be that if a woman didn't have children by the time she was 40, people gave her a sad face and whispered that she was probably having a hard time trying to become pregnant. Because obviously women only thought about having babies and that's all they needed to complete their lives. But that isn't the fact anymore. Women are embracing that they have lives outside of motherhood and accepting that they are powerful and smart, capable of thinking of other things besides breastfeeding and social playdates.
And even those women who do have children are breaking away from the molds of believing that every moment should be devoted to your offspring. Life isn't all about soccer, chores, glitter, and being nice. Sometimes it is ugly, sad, and makes you wonder if you should have ever became a parent or just gotten a dog.
Now at last I can laugh about how my boys snuck out at night, told teachers his parents were dead, took our cars, made Dad drop the F-bomb in the kitchen, ran away barefooted and made the grandparents hide him out and buy him new shoes.
No family is perfect
A few years ago when my boys were young teens, I used to drive through this neighborhood back in Maryland. I would watch the “Perfects” in their beautiful new houses, driving their kids to sports practices in shiny cars. They always looked so wonderful and they couldn't possibly be dealing with the same issues I was having in my house.
The “Perfects” all gathered in their adorable little community park and the Mommies would sit and chat while their Gymboree model children played without someone punching someone else in the junk, no dramas, no screaming.
A few years later I see a lot of those families on social media, life isn't perfect for many of them. In fact most of the families that I used to watch in that neighborhood have divorced, had a lot of dramas of their own play out, and I wonder how those women coped with feeling like they had to live up to “Perfect” and if that is why so many of them turned to Xanex and drinking heavily.
It's okay to admit that your kids can be little assholes. They are humans after all. Talk to your friends, be honest about your struggles. Don't try to pretend that everything is perfect, because that's not real. No family is perfect.
Teenagers are brutal!
It isn't just that teens are rebellious. That's a given. But teens also call their parents out on the BS that they see about their parents. Teenagers and old people do not have filters. They call out exactly what they see.
As parents we spend so much time trying to mold our kids into kind, smart, decent adults. Maybe too much time is spent critiquing their appearance, attitudes, grades, friends, and choices. Because that backfires and they begin to critique too. I've been called out on my friends, my own attitude, and even procrastination.
Teens are brutal because we have taught them how to be, but not how to see that people have flaws and how to accept them. I am so guilty of snapping at my daughter for eye rolling and then being called out for my own lack of interest in conversations.
Teens are hard, but they are also so much better than toddlers and don't get me started on how much better then are than 9 year olds!
We need to talk about the older years, we need to talk about life beyond Motherhood!