Monday, January 4, 2010

Different Is Not Wrong.

That's the husbands mantra.
It came about when the six year old was a baby and I was constantly telling him how things were done.

You know - onsies are worn inside pants, babies don't eat muffins, diapers need to be changed every few hours not just once a day. That kind of thing.

He is right of course. Different is not wrong but it can be really annoying depending on your point of view.

Let me give you an example. As you may have picked up from my last post. I find New Year hard. So to avoid the annual melt down we booked to go away for a couple of nights, last minute.

We were going to go to the snow but eventually decided on the beach. It turned out to be an excellent decision. We only went two hours from home so we were still in Northern California.
The weather was incredible. Warm and sunny. We had booked a beach side hotel with pool and hot tub. I didn't even imagine the pool would be open at this time of year. It was open and heated to bath tub temperature. Yummy.

We swam, on the 1st and 2nd of January in a pool with the sound of the ocean crashing on the beach filling our ears. It was warm enough to sit on the loungers and snack. It was glorious.

The baby naps so the husband and I took turn about taking the six year old to the pool during this time. I went first. The six year old and I swam, dived for rings, danced, played Turtle, Humpty and synchronized swimming for three hours. We took short breaks to dip in the hot tub and snack.

Day two it was my turn to stay with the baby. I watched from the balcony as the six year old and the husband jumped into the pool giggling.

I tidied up the hotel room. Made snack. Changed a diaper. Once the baby was asleep I decided to sit on the balcony and read. There in the pool was the six year old playing with new friends. There on a lounger was the husband listening to his ipod.

He was facing the pool, watching the six year old diligently.
Hmmm. I look around. It's pretty quiet but there are two moms in the pool with kids and two Dads on the sidelines. One reading, one on his cell.

I watched the scene on and off for an hour. All Dad's did check in with the kids. They also all played in the pool with the kids for periods. Then they got out and relaxed for a while.

I did not see the Moms relaxing.
Of course there are a few ways to look at this. The Dad's could be described as smarter, lazier, selfish or balanced.
The Mom's could be described as STUPID.

Why can't we switch off? Why can't we relax around the kids? Why do we fear 'the judgement' of others if we are not super mom 24/7?
I know that had I sat on a lounger reading while my six year old was in the pool I would have felt irresponsible and lazy.
I wouldn't have been irresponsible because the six year old can swim, was two feet away and there were other adults in the pool.
I wouldn't have been lazy because I never sit my ass down for more than five minutes on any given day.
Even right now, although I'm sitting here typing, I have jumped up to load laundry, and do some meal prep.

I need to take a leaf out of the husbands book.
I need to stop making decisions based on 'the judgement' (real or imagined) I feel from others.
I think I may have just made a New Year resolution.
I'll let you know how I get on.


  1. Hey there---just visiting over from SITS---sounds like a great time!!

  2. There is an ever-so-small part of me that wants to admit that in that situation, I would have been sitting on the lounger too. Well. For part of the time, at least. I am most definitely NOT super mom.

  3. Depending on the pool, I would be sitting there in the pool with my kiddo watching every move like a hawk.
    We have access to a zero entry pool here, and I can tell you that I am usually on the sidelines there. A pool that goes from less than 1" in depth to a pool of 3 feet, is perfect for us. I'm able to watch the baby from the pool, and watch the kids from the side, with little or no effort. I can even sit with the baby in 1" or less of water and still be playing.
    But, I am like you. I worry a lot about what others may or may not be thinking of me. I think that's programed into us as mothers, as women. It's hard not to worry about things like that.

  4. I agree with this in all aspects. Whenever the man and I are at home and the babe is awake I always feel it necessary to play with her...all the time...and the man sits and watches TV, or plays on the computer, or gets up to get a drink. I feel like I constantly have to be engaging her or else she may not be as smart as she could be - I'm trying to help her realize her potential...but it is all very tiring - this potential thing!!


  5. Awww, this post hits me where it hurts. I am so guilty of not being able to "turn it off" as you say. Never. It's just not in me. I'm type-A, OCD, completely maniacal. I think I can do it all, I try to do it all, and when I come up a little short I at times berate myself.

    I just read a book about how women "do it all" and men benefit from it ("The Colony" by Anne Rivers Siddons-- good read, by the way); it made me realize that, truly, behind every good man stands an even better woman...

    Confessions From A Working Mom

  6. Turn off? I never sleep!

    I am definitely stealing your New Years Goal - if I call them resolutions it results in failure. I am smart enough now to know how to fool myself!

    Popped in from SITS!




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