These are my Confessions

Today’s post is about me, disguised as series of #confessions. It’s not really about parenting, but it may help you understand where I’m coming from. I copied the #confessions idea from Just a Little Blush, so I’m linking to her. She’s great! Go read her blog.

#confession – I was home-schooled. That sentence carries a lot of preconceived images with it, even (especially?) for me. I did not wear denim skirts or my pajamas to “school.” Yes, I know how to read. 😉 I had my own desk, which I was expected to be sitting in at 8AM, dressed (including shoes, to my eternal chagrin) and ready to go. The coursework was pretty rigorous, but we also got a fair amount of outside time, especially in the Summers. Because of this, I’m a big proponent of imaginative play and outdoor time. We also read the Bible every day, which I now think of as a huge privilege and apparently an anomaly in evangelical families. Looking back now, my mom did an amazing job of researching and procuring good curricula for us in a time when that wasn’t easy or accessible (she did not have Amazon). In 7th grade I started at private school. It was all downhill from there. I kid, I kid.

#confession – I’m left-handed. It’s very inconvenient. I didn’t learn how to use scissors properly until I was in high school and someone let me borrow a pair of left-handed ones. #mindblown

#confession – I have three brothers. I wouldn’t categorize myself as a tomboy, per se, but at the ripe age of 29 I started becoming interested in fashion. And by that I mean I stopped wearing jeans to work every day.

#confession – I’m also the oldest, so I can be…bossy. Sidenote: the internet got all up in arms recently (can you imagine?) over the use of the word bossy as it was apparently a war on women. I’m super proud of my bossiness – it has allowed me to thrive in some challenging situations so I find the negative reaction to the bossy label pretty silly.

#confession – my husband and I have known each other for seventeen years. We’ve been married for seven years. I can’t really say much else without invading his privacy or sounding super cheesy so I will end with: He’s my best friend. #stillkindacheesy #sorrynotsorry

#confession – this week I price-checked online and ordered my favorite brand of diapers from Wal-Mart dot com and got free delivery to my house. I was super proud of myself. Today I realized I forgot to price check Amazon. They’re selling those same diapers with free 2-day Prime shipping for SIX DOLLARS less than I paid at Wal-Mart dot com. Amazon, y’all.

#confession – I LOVE thrift shopping. It’s basically one of my hobbies. Or it used to be before I had a kid, you know, back when “free time” was a thing. When I was a teenager my mom and I bonded over Goodwill shopping trips so I have an emotional connection to thrift shopping. I’m also obsessed with getting a “deal” – it’s probably a disorder at this point (not really).

#confession – I’m super proud that I am a Texan.

#confession – Ok this one is really a confession: I have this weird belief that if you don’t flush a cockroach down the toilet, he will reanimate. This sounds completely crazy but I swear I’ve seen the same roach that Hubs threw in the trash show up on my kitchen floor the next day!

#confession – I don’t love my dog as much as I did before I had a kid. Please don’t call the ASPCA. My dog still lives indoors on a fancy LLBean dog bed, gets two square meals a day, weekly walks, and tons of love. I refer to him as my “original baby” and my “old man baby.” He’s fine.

Here he is being his usual mopey self –

I think that’s enough confessions for now! Happy Monday!

Screen Time

It’s Friday, so I will try to keep this short and positive. Happy Friday!

I find it really weird how much I think and talk about “screen time” these days. #Confession: before I had a kid, I was one of those holier-than-thou people who used to say “MY CHILD will never watch YouTubeKids!” Fast forward to real life and…my 5 month old has watched Jurassic Park. And he actually watched it, y’all (how everything you do scars your child for life is a rant…er, post for a different day).

I grew up watching TV. I am not exaggerating when I say that Sesame Street taught me how to count in English and Spanish. Granted, we didn’t have cable, but we were home-schooled (#confession) so we were allowed to watch Shining Time Station right before lunch if we finished our school lessons. This was my mom’s clever ploy to keep us out of her hair while she made lunch*. Which I think illustrates how a lot of moms today use screen time – sometimes you need your kid to be focused on something else for a minute so you can: have an adult conversation, eat your own damn lunch, or finish paying bills.

For me the bottom line about screen time is: How can I do what’s best for my children without also making my own life miserable?

Full disclosure: we also watched Aladdin, Bill Nye, and Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego? Our granparents had cable so we watched Nickelodeon and Nick at Night pretty much non-stop when we were there.We also watched every Disney movie ever, and tons of classic movies and other trash that I won’t bother detailing. So our options skewed toward educational, but most of it was just entertainment. My point is – I think by today’s standards, I grew up watching A LOT of TV. And I like to think I turned out ok 🙂

 

 

 

 

*My dad came home for lunch every day, so lunch was the “big” meal at our house and dinner was something quick/easy like sandwiches or cereal. I didn’t realize this was unusual until I was a teenager.

Spoiler Alert!

This isn’t really a parenting advice blog. It’s just a log of my experiences and pet peeves about modern parenting.

Pet peeve #1: the internet.

When I first became a parent (5 whole months ago – so I basically know everything there is to know now guys!) I found myself googling everything – is my baby eating enough, how much should I let him sleep, is this rash/spit-up/poop normal? The results are often conflicting, but there seems to be one main theme that appears everywhere on the internet: you are a terrible parent! You’re worrying too much and too little, you work too much but don’t make enough money, you should cook more, clean more, get more exercise, and for heaven’s sake smile every once in a while! Also you need to do all this while getting 3 hours of sleep and make sure to LEAN IN* at work! Oh by the way, everything you’re doing is going to ruin your child forever!

I’m here to tell you that you are not a terrible parent. The fact that you are worried about your child and seeking answers in the often unforgiving corners of the internet says a lot about how much you care. Your house doesn’t need to be cleaner, you don’t need more money, more stuff (for yourself or for baby) and you are not ruining your child. I mean, you’re probably not. Mine isn’t grown yet so I don’t even have an n=1 study for you. Anyway, if you’re a new parent, the internet can be super helpful as a guide to know when you should maybe seek medical care for your kid. But if you want to know how you “should” be doing things, I have found that instinct is a much better guide than scrolling endlessly though mommy forums.

Parental instint was a huge revelation to me. Almost every time I have felt like something was “off” about my kid, I turned out to be correct, even when other moms (self-proclaimed experts) said it was nothing to worry about. So trust yourself! You know you child better than anyone. And take heart. You are fully equipped for this job.

TL;DR – use the internet as a guide, not a guilt trip.

*That’s a pet peeve for another post.