There are some great mommy blogs out in the blogosphere. There is My Baby Experience blog – A mother of one shares baby advice; the How To Mommy – Making Mom’s Life Easier One Post at a Time; there is even Mommy Adventures – a mom with two kids with her latest feature “Hannah Sings the ABC’s. They are creative, show amazing pictures of picture-perfect children, feature moms who cook, moms who sew, moms who relay clever anecdotes about said children, and moms who make money off these stories. I am not being totally facetious…some of these blogs are remarkable. They are also a means for women to stay at home, while successfully creating a blogging business that helps support their families, and that is no small feat.
But what we need in addition to these blogs is a new kind of mommy blog. Something in the genre of Erma Bombeck. The blog that tells it like it is when those amazing and beautiful toddlers begin to dress themselves, pick their own friends and noses, say things like “you’re ruining my life!” and break their mommies hearts. Erma Bombeck is the mommy that said: “Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.” and “When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he’s doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911.” and “Being a child at home alone in the summer is a high-risk occupation. If you call your mother at work thirteen times an hour, she can hurt you.”
Once our kids get to a certain age, we are confronted with the fact that they aren’t perfect, nor are we, and it is a vulnerable position. We know in our heads that neither party ever was perfect, but the way we live belies that knowledge. When we get to those stages, the idea of publicly blogging some of our stories sends chills down my spine.
I call the stories from those toddler years the “Let me go, let me jump, let me hit my lip” stories, they are cute stories without far-reaching consequences. But when the stories become “Let me go, Let me drink, let me hurt myself” or “Let me go, let me drop out of college” or “Let me go, let me fail calculus” (and the list goes on) we are suddenly in this place of “Who is this person and what have they done with my child?” Not so easy to share those stories.
But those are the stories that need to be shared. Those are the stories that show that God is faithful and big and good and in control. Every time we are willing to open up about what’s really going on with our kids – their hearts, their jobs, their struggles, we find that we are not alone. We recognize that just as we were seemingly hopeless once ourselves, sleeping on couches with minimum wage jobs, making choices that were questionable and had far-reaching consequences, so go our kids. And God did not abandon us. And God will not abandon them.
About a year ago I read an article called the “Myth of the Perfect Parent”. While I usually scan cynically over parenting articles this one was different. From the first paragraph and the authors’ description of being “in the muddy trenches of parenthood” she had me. One of the points made in the article was that the question “Am I parenting successfully?” needs to be changed to “Am I parenting faithfully?” She goes on to say “Faithfulness, after all, is God’s highest requirement for us”. Changing that one word changes the inner dialogue that often sends accusations, and ‘should haves’ reverberating through the brain like sounds in an echo chamber. The question is no longer about success, a culturally based fleeting variable, and becomes about our relationship with, and dependence on, God.
So about the new kind of mommy blog – maybe a blog is not where these conversations and stories belong. But they do belong with friends we know and trust.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures! psalm 19:90
Check out this article – The Myth of Perfect Parenting and weigh in on the conversation!