Monday, February 11, 2013

Getting knocked down a few pegs

I have to admit I was feeling a bit chuffed (that's British for "proud") about my latest Huffington Post article hitting the front page and getting some amount of attention. In fact, so chuffed that you're probably sick of hearing about it.

But, you see, I'm not the writer in the family.  That distinction falls squarely to my triplet brother - the real talent and a true artist.  Even so, I've been enjoying developing my writing these last few years. They're not all gems, but these blog posts are my words, my way of stringing them together, my ideas, my creation.  I've haven't had this sense of ownership or creativity really any time in my post-grad school professional life.  So, to get some kind of attention and positive feedback, really puffed me up.

So much so that riding this wave of confidence I thought up another article for submission.  Like all supposedly brilliant ideas, it came to me in the shower.

I was thinking about the disconnect between the support and encouragement I get from my mom friends and the possibly media-generated idea of the mommy wars, in which we battle and judge each other over every parenting decision.  Were they instigating and amplifying this conflict to sell more magazines?  I even came up with a catchy hook for the idea: "The Mommy War Industrial Complex."

I banged out a post which ended with the idea that even if the mommy wars don't reflect reality, I have already internalized the struggles and thus doubt all my parenting decisions.  I wondered how other moms felt about this. Was the war real?  Did they internalize it too?

I thought there'd be a well... if not viral.... lively response and discussion to this.

It went over like a lead balloon.  There was deafening silence.  I looked with envy at the other parenting articles that had all kinds of likes and shares and tweets of affirmation, and wondered self pityingly why I sucked so much in comparison.

One person finally commented to tell me that I was "delusional" for thinking that the mommy wars don't exist.  I was actually glad for some kind of reaction.

OK. Maybe I missed the boat and this has already been discussed to death.  Maybe it just didn't resonate.  Maybe it just wasn't all that great of an article.

It took me down a few pegs.

Then yesterday, amid my moping, we went to the pool.  I know I know I know.  Shut the hell up woman.  Some of us are under the newest snowpocolypse, and you're moping all the way through the equatorial sunshine to the POOL!?!?  But bear with me...

Again, I was feeling a bit... chuffed.  I'ts been nearly a year since Emmet was born and I'm feeling OK about my body again.  Even in a swim suit.

Later than night after dinner, my belly expanded (AS THEY DO) full of food, and I playfully rubbed my belly and joked to my family about there being another little baby in there. (I know I know I know, NOT that funny, and possibly confusing for a 4 year old, but laughs trump responsible parenting at times in our house).  My incredibly earnest 4 year old thought about this and responded:

"Well, is there a baby in your tushy?"

It took me down a few pegs.  But this time with enormous amounts of laughter.

I guess the point is: If you get too chuffed, prepare for the fall.  But take some lessons, humility and laughter down the descent with you.
Caleb looking deceptively innocent

8 comments:

  1. Oh, Kim, we have our days, don't we! BTW, you SHOULD be very proud of BOTH of your articles, not everyone has articles on the HP. Meanwhile, I've just joined the "Bebe parenting fray"... (http://www.today.com/moms/bebe-wars-part-deux-what-real-french-moms-love-hate-1B8324066) Interesting article despite my contribution :) Thought you might be interested as you've written a lot on the topic of cross-cultural parenting.

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    1. Thanks Liene. I'm kind of obsessed with cross cultural parenting and I really do appreciate the discussion that Bringng up Bebe has prompted. Can't wait to check this out!

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  2. Oh my goodness. This just gave me a GREAT laugh. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Katie. But I'll try not to feel too chuffed that I made you laugh. You know where that leads... ; )

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  3. Thank you for this! I love your sense of humor & Caleb's - you gotta love the world from a four year old's uncensored point of view!

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    1. I know! He's such a ham. To be fair, he's kind of in a "tushy" stage, where he manages to bring it up in about every conversation. So, I'm not taking it TOO personally. ; )

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  4. Children: their job is to keep us humble. And laughing (which might be sometimes closer to wincing).

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    1. If that's their job, mission accomplished!

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