Diapers and Dragons

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Catherine Connors of Her Bad Mother has proposed a challenge to MommyBloggers everywhere (I'll put it in her own words here):

A few months ago, my friend David asked me if I thought that it would be possible to travel around the world via blog. "Like Around The World In 80 Days," he said, "but on the Internet. Around the world in 80 clicks. 80 mom-blogger clicks!" "I don't know," I said. "But it sure sounds like a cool thing to try." "Cool. And if you could visit, virtually, moms around the world, what would you want to talk to them about?"

Here's how it's going to work: this post that you're reading? Is the departure lounge. I'm going to link to a couple of other mom bloggers here in Canada, and to a couple of mom bloggers from other countries around the world, and they'll write their posts, sharing 5 things that they love (or maybe what they don't so much love - this playground doesn't force conformity) about being a mom, and then they'll tag a few more bloggers from their own country and from other countries, and so on. And you're more than welcome to join: just write a post of your own (5 things that you love about being a mom) and find someone to link to and tag - someone from your own country, if you like, but definitely someone from another country (Google is a good resource if you don't know any; google any country name and 'mom' in their blog search function) (be sure to let them know that you've tagged them!) - and link back here and leave a comment and we'll add you to the 'itinerary,' which David will compile and post and update as the tour proceeds.

I'm not one of the blessed few she linked to, but I'm taking her up on her challenge and joining in. I have blogger friends in various locales, and so do they, so we might actually get somewhere!

As Her Bad Mother said, it isn't motherhood itself, as a universal concept, that gives me joy. Motherhood is hard. I've struggled with it more than some and less than others. As I just commented over at Frog and Toad Are Still Friends in response to Beck's mea culpa about judging working mothers, I (for the most part) choose to work. I am not by nature an amazing SAHM (Stay At Home Mom for the uninitiated) and have particularly struggled with summer vacations. Part of this is my inherent selfishness: I desire more Me time than children, especially small children, permit. Part is the PPD (Post-Partum Depression, you ignoramuses out there) that I have been not dealing with for three years and which created an emotional barrier between me and my children. Part of this is personality: I deal better with older children for extended periods of time, and I crave the interaction of the working world.

I am enjoying my children more now that I am facing my dragons and getting help. I also am going to be proactive this coming summer and plan more with my children, especially taking advantage of the SAHM friends. I do better if I get Out and About with the boys, especially in the company of sympatico adults. The TV is less likely to be my main source of entertainment that way.

Lest you start thinking you should perhaps have a chat with social services, let me assure you that I am, in fact, a pretty good mother. Improving all the time, I hope, but pretty good. And I do, in fact, love being a mom--at least in part. It's hard work. There's a reason that so very many, many marriages suffer severely in the first few years of parenthood. Marriage is hard work too, and sometimes the one suffers because of the other--or both suffer mutually. Unfortunately society tends to frown on people complaining (in any real way beyond Oh, I'm so tired! and I'm so sick of changing diapers! and that sort of complaint) about the very real, hardcore, deep-down I don't know if I can even do this sort of difficulty that motherhood--or parenthood, for that matter--presents. We're supposed to love it, glory in it, and never betray just how miserable we are sometimes.

Which is why MommyBlogging can sometimes be such a lifeline. I've read the MommyBlogs that make motherhood sounds like it's all daisychains and butterflies and puppydogs, but those are the blogs I tend not to reread. I've also read a few MommyBlogs that I hesitate to label as such, since all they do is bash motherhood. Poor children. I stick, in the long run, to those that have a balance. There may be daisychains, but sometimes they include poison ivy. The butterflies occasionally get snapped up by a passing bird. And puppydogs poop. These are the blogs that give me laughter and tears in equal measure.

And so does being a mom.

For today, I'm focusing on the positive. Here are five things I love about motherhood:

1. I love the ear-to-ear grins and cries of Mama! when I walk in the door--any door--after some time apart from my boys, whether it be two hours or two days. They're better than puppies for unadulterated joy upon seeing my face. The feeling is mutual.

2. I love the snuggles and hugs and moist, messy kisses. They're even hard to resist when I'm trying to get the kidlets to Just Go To Sleep, Dammit. Just one more hug, Mommy! (DramaBoy) and Hug! Hug! Wuv oo! (The Widget) are the most effective stalling tactics they have in their arsenal.

3. I love their joy when they play together. Last night I watched them as they crawled around on the floor together chasing a few ants. Bug! Bug! they shouted gleefully, and peals of giggles burst forth. I could have watched them for ages. I wish the video camera had been working.

4. I love seeing their amazing leaps of development and intelligence. It's hard not to take it personally, as though it's some credit to me and my genes. Though of course, I am brilliant, and so is ComputerDaddy, so it only makes sense that the kidlets are too.

5. I love being able to make their day with the smallest things. Whether it's a juice box, some Chicken McNuggets, or a giant dragon bought at a Mom-to-Mom sale for a measly $1, being able to bring joy to someone (especially someone I love so much) so easily is wonderful. I love that they're so uncomplicated that way.

So there you go. And now I'm tagging Lauren (Australia) at Sparkling Adventures, Kathleen (Georgia--the state) at Treasured Chapters, Katrina (Michigan) at From Our World to Yours, and Heidi (Oregon) at Hortus Deliciarum. Let's get this trip going!

8 bits of love:

The Kampers said...

Dramaboy sure did love that dragon! Thanks for the honesty...it's nice to be reminded that I am not the only one who sometimes struggles with the mom thing...

David said...

This is outstanding - thanks so much!

Kathleen said...

You are a far cry from the type of mother on whom social services is called, but I think it is because of that very fear that so many people are hesitant to be transparent about their struggles with parenthood. It sure isn't easy; I have so many moments of, "Why can't I just have some time for ME?!" And that is legitimate--take some time. And always know there are lots of mommies out there going through the same parenting issues as you!

mom said...

You said it, girl! Mommy-ing is wonderful, a great blessing, and sometimes so painful you think your insides are being torn out, and sometimes just the biggest challenge that there is to Me First. I've been watching you closely. You love those kids, and they deeply love you, and amen to giving in to "wuv oo" and "just one more hug"!!!!! By the way, I often hit the wall of despair myself. You just didn't know it, maybe. And I was always figuring out ways to combine my work with my mothering. Funny how you turned out much like me, only much much funnier and public in expressing it!

Her Bad Mother said...

Thank you! This is awesome!

(and, yes, the kisses. THE KISSES.)

packey said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Monica said...

Thanks for this post -- especially your intro, talking about what's hard to talk about when it comes to being moms. Those are the blogs I re-read too!

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