Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Under Pressure

I'm trying to formulate a post about the pressure to be the perfect mother. I'm not quite sure what I want to say, but it's so unfortunate that I feel a lot of times like I'm not enjoying them as much as I should becuase I feel this pressure to be doing the "right" thing. For example...


I friggin' hate eduational toys. There are no educational toys for a 7 month old. they are babies. They want to chew on shit and see stuff that lights up and plays doofy melodies... they don't want to learn french or calculus. they want to chew shit. well, mostly C. Z wants to take over the world.

walkers/exersaucers: toy of satan or fun for twins who chew on everything? In order to eat dinner, or make baby food for the ravenous teething twins, I occaisionally have to stick them some where other than on me. The bouncy seats are no longer cutting it, but the girls still haven't mastered (or don't care to) the art of sitting. So for a few minutes a day they get plopped in a walker or exersaucer. C chews on whatever is in front of her. Z attempts to dismantle hers while moaning her evil plan to her henchmen. I lock the basement door and put a chair in front of it. I don't know why, their little feet barely reach the floor... but I took a header down basement steps at my 1st birthday party, and well, we've seen what that does ;) Anyway, does this make me "worst mother ever"? I hardly think so, but if I read one more dumbass book that equates these toys to burning your child with cigarettes, I may lose it.

Or how about teething rings? Why can't I freeze them? C wants to eat the fridge. Or the cat. If he were frozen. My mother found a teething ring in her fridge that was most likely Ed's if not mine. It's probably made of liquid lead. C loves it. no, that's an understatement. they are eloping next friday.

Television: See above re: walkers. Sometimes we are needing some Noggin' around here. Like this morning when I had to pump and babies did not want to chill on the play mat or read Don Quixote in the original Spanish. So we had a double no no: babies in walkers watching telelvision. Child protective services should have just walked on in and skipped the pleasantries. I mean, what an unfit mother I must be to allow my children to stare blissfully at big-eyed bugs on Miss Spider while I hook myself up to have a rendezvous with Felipe. So. They. Can. Eat.


Food is one of these areas where I feel like I need to make sure they are getting the right nutrients in the right balances and that more of it gets in then on them. Like if they eat bananas too many days in a row, they will be missing some key ingredient in oh, say, sweet potatoes that will make them Mouth breathers instead of Mensa members. this is absurd. There is no way that my mother could have possibly put this much thought into my food intake. The woman can't remember where she put her cell phone down after hanging it up. (this happened twice today). I'm reasonably intelligent. And look at H. he's pretty damn functional considering the bizarre inedible food product his mother likley served. (I reference the rosh hashana brisket/stewed cauliflower/corn on the cob debaucle of '03)

then there's the organic, free-range, hormone free hoopla. I know for a fact that my mother didn't buy organic vegetables when she made her baby food. Granted, there may have been fewer pesticides, but then again, it was the late 70's, so it was probably worse. People were less concerned or less aware of the crap on their food. I wholly buy into the organic fear mongering. I can't afford gas some weeks, but I am buying organic locally grown apples. At least I've down graded my own dairy from organic to "hormone free". Personally for myself I could give a shit about bovine growth hormone, but I went through puberty early and lord knows I don't need them with boobs at age 7. I have enough problems on my hands with identical twins, at least one of which may be an evil scientist.

The thing is that I feel like we are all driving ourselves crazy. You have to do what works for you and what's best for your life and your family. Do I think it would be better if I didn't have to rely on gadgets to keep my children from screaming so loud the dogs across the street bark? Yes. Is it likely to happen? Um, sure. If I cloned myself and hired a chef and housekeeper. I am doing the best I can with what I've got. I've got two well attached babies who are growing almost perceptively and need attention. We read books, we sing nursery rhymes, we eat two meals a day of organic fruits, vegis, oatmeal and yogurt. They have started taking naps in the crib in the morning and they go to bed every night by 8pm at the latest (we are working this up to 7 as I think they need more sleep and frankly I need less cranky babies at night). But that pressure is still there to measure up to some unatainable goal. I have gotten myself off the hook lately by thinking "maybe that would be possible if I only had one baby..." but I have a feeling there's only so much one woman can do.

Unless you are my mom. Who literally is a super hero. When I was a kid, she brought me roses after a show and signed the card "Super Mom" as a joke. Except it's true. Tonight she came by after work to watch them while I went to the doctor. Then she stayed to help feed them dinner. Then she gave them both baths and while I nursed them to sleep, she put away the bath stuff, did my dishes and cleaned my kitchen. Then she went to play bridge. But she called me from the car to say she couldn't remember who's house the bridge game was at. At least she could find her cell phone.


Kerry Lynn said...

OMG, you are cracking me up!

I have all the same worries you do although mine are just a bit older so I don't have to worry about keeping them entertained. It's definitely a lot harder when they can't entertain themselves. Now that both of mine are crawling and able to pull up on things and GET DOWN on their own (the get down part is key) they basically just need me to remember to feed them.

I think you are doing a fabulous job.

Don't worry they'll be reading Don Quixote in Spanish by 10 months like mine ;-)

Why can't you freeze teething rings?? I had no knowledge of this. They love them this way!

Oh, have you seen Family Guy at all? Z sounds like baby Stuey who has been planning on taking over the world. The show is actually really funny.

Anonymous said...

As I write this I am downing ten mini-snickers. That's right, a breastfeeding mother eating peanuts. In my neck of the woods that's tantamount to child abuse. "Aren't you afraid he'll develop a nut allergy? I read somewhere..." So I am eating them in private!

We do it to ourselves. We don't have to listen to others; we choose to. I find myself spending time that I don't have googling everything about baby. I scan the options and rank them in my mind from they must be crazy, to... they must be even more crazy. I for one am not willing to hold my baby 24-7; my back is killing me. I refuse to feed him everytime he pulls at my boobs; he's still 18 pounds at 5 months, so he's obviously not starving.

If he cries for 20 minutes in the crib before I get out of bed to feed him(I turn the monitor off so I can handle it a little better) he's not going to have a heart attack. In fact, as I wrote this he started crying, and actually fell asleep before I stopped typing.

I'm going to go back to eating my snickers, and when he wakes up in the morning, he'll get his daily fill of Diego while in his exersaucer. Did I happen to mention we started babysigning this week... Kat