I got an email today from one of my friends that is part of the moms' group that I am a member of . She was checking in to see if I had mad a decision on whether or not to become a Mama Mentor (apparently I missed an email somewhere). The email said "As a Mentor Momma, you would be the “go to” gal for other mommas in the group. To listen, to advise, to live life with." Go To Gal? Me? Look ladies, we've talked about this... no more than 2 martinis before lunch! Apparently I've been nipping in the cooking sherry, too since I agreed to do it.
Honestly I'm honored. I can't believe that someone thought that out of all of the other people they know they I was the one that had it had it most together (or to offer) but I'll take it. Even more baffling is that there was a conversation that somewhere consisted of "OK, might as well ask her". I am willing to concede a nomination based on the fact that I probably have the most kids and they've all survived my "Parenting" (although let's not get too cocky folks, they're teenagers now and I can not promise they'll make it to adulthood). Either that or since having my 1/3 of a dozen children and I have managed to survive it gives someone else hope. I can't have played the game for this long without picking up something along the way, right? Dear Lord I hope so.
I've said it before, I don't think that I have any remarkable parenting skills. I parent by momentum. I use what I think is common sense and try not to hit myself in the head with a hammer any more than I have to. As parents, like with anything else, our generation thinks we've got it all figured out and can't fathom how our parents managed to no kill us with their "recklessness" (funny, sounds like my teenage daughter telling my husband how he couldn't possibly understand because "kids today are so much more sophisticated" - no kidding my friends, I couldn't make this shit up). I don't use any Method or live by any one Expert. I used cloth diapers and breastfed Fiona. Not because of some sense of moral superiority or because I was doing "the very best thing for my baby and the planet" - excuse me I think I just threw up a little. I did it because the thought of spending $20 or more a week to buy something for my kid to poop in seemed lame. And why should I buy something to feed my baby when I make that something for free, it's fairly easy to carry around, comes in rather nice packaging (if I do say so myself) AND makes her poop a little less rank. D'uh. I opted for natural childbirth because the alternative scared the hell out of me and I'm a big fat chicken. It doesn't seem like rocket science to me. Some call it Maternal Instinct. I call it Common Sense.
I've made mistakes in parenting. BIG mistakes. I've had a lot of "Probably Shouldn't Do THAT Again" moments. I've accepted I'm helping my kids into therapy.
I don't know what answers I'm going to be able to give. My biggest advice is to do what you think is best. Do the research for yourself, educate yourself and do what your heart says is right. If you can't do that I can't help you. But I will support, guide, answer the questions I can, try and figure out the ones I can't and all around try to somehow meet this funny vision of me someone has.
As cliche' a s it is - Parenting has been the best/worst job I have ever had. It makes me all teary just thinking of it. Thank you, Ladies, for having faith in me.
Boy I hope I don't F*&# this up!