Thursday, November 23, 2006

Humble Pie

by Crazymumma

When I was pregnant with Big Girl I was full of high ideals. My child would never watch TV, never eat anything but organic food, snacks would always be healthy and wholesome. I too would be purrrfect. A smug smile of satisfaction would be on my face as I floated, effortlessly through every day reading books, making crafts, playing and interacting in only the best ways. Our house would be full of light, music, and giggles of joy from all who entered.

Ya right. Then I had my baby. And I started to bake my own Humble Pie.

As I nursed my new baby, I would watch dustballs roll across the floor, and then stick to something on the way. Laundry and cleaning the bathroom became impossible tasks. And although I felt a deeper than deep love for my child, I did not feel the radiating joy and perfection I thought I would. And lets not even get started on the impact a child can had on my relationship with Mr TransAm.

I can say that my food ideals I stuck to for the first two years. But TV crept in by year three, as did sugary treats. And organics are very expensive. I am proud to say that there was lots of reading and crafting. And it was great. Really, I am not being sarcastic.

Then along came Little Girl. She probably had her first lollipop soon after her first spoon of rice cereal. She watches way too much TV with Big Girl. I did and do not read to her as much as I would like, I do not make crafts with her as much as I did with my first child. Lots of ideals slid. My expectations of personal perfection lowered themselves without any trying on my part. My perfect little dream world slowly slid away. The Humble Pie was now fully baked.

We can create a private hell for ourselves when we do not meet our personal expectations as parents in today's society. One can only do so much and these days the pressure to do things correctly is huge, and I am prompted to wonder if it was always like this. I had to let go of so many ideas of how I was going to parent, as well as embrace the lack of control I had over who my children are and how they make me react.

There was a relief in letting go of the impossible standards I had and accepting that I could not control every moment. It has made parenting more enjoyable, certainly easier. And I enjoy my children more, because I worry less about the small things, and can focus on the bigger picture.

But I had to eat alot of that pie, and I think I will always have one baking in the oven.


Anne is a self-described obsessive, fairly high strung 40-something, rock and roll wannabe, art making, grilled cheese mummy queen. Born and raised in Toronto, married with two children. Been through hell and back, and lives to tell the tale.


Mother Bumper said...

Oh humble pie, I'm glad you taste okay because I've been eating a lot since having my baby. I can relate to that private hell that we create for ourselves and I've learned (the hard way) to just roll with it. Enjoy the moment is the best thing I've learned so far. Well said Anne.

Naomi said...

Humble pie, I think I may be needing some of you soon. Boy 1 does not watch tv, has never had a jar of baby food, and prefers cucumbers to cookies. He's almost 2.

Now that boy 2 is here, I don't know what will happen.

I will try to keep up my ideals, but already I've seen differences for boy 2!

metro mama said...

It sure is humbling. I am letting my ideals slide already!

Lisa b said...

I really love your perspective. It was great how we knew everything before we had kids. The memory keeps me from strangling my friends who don't yet have kids but still know everything.
I've lasted the two years of healthier food and not so much TV with #1. I was pretty sure things would slide with #2 but that's life right?
I am over the dust bunnies. I'll clean up when they go to college.

Lillithmother said...

If I knew then what I know now, I doubt I would have had such a bad bout of depression after Monkey-Moo was born. My humble pie got it's crust burnt 10 times over!

Great post A!!


Angela said...

Wonderfully written post, my motto since becoming a parent is "never say never" I was also going to be the best Mom ever and my children would never watch too much tv or eat junk food and they would read and play educational games all day--hah! Now, back to the real world...we all have ideas of what makes a great parent, we all need to cut ourselves some slack and remember all the great things we do, and we will never be perfect--who wants perfection anyway-I'd rather have a bubble bath and read a good book.

Krista said...

Can I have a slice of your humble pie? I think I need one.

Penny said...

And I started to bake my own Humble Pie.

So true, eh?


This post was perfect.

nomotherearth said...

So true

There's a really big fall between perfection and reality. After I took the jump, it hurt for a bit, but after I dusted myself off, things have been a lot better.

something blue said...

The hardest part for me is not having the ability to read to the little one. I keep hoping this will change when she is a little older.

Plus I keep forgetting the advise that I got with my first and people don't offer it the second time around. Like I'm supposed to remember!

I introduced a sippy cup too late with my youngest and now she refuses to take them! Gggrrrr... Can I have some pie please?

petite gourmand said...

I LOVE this post!
I have been gorging on humble pie myself these days....
though I have to admit, I'm still searching for that puuurectly flakey crust.

mama_tulip said...

This is a great post, Anne. I can relate 100%. I was thinking similarly last night, as I watched Julia feed Oliver Smarties. I would have never let Julia have Smarties at his know?

IzzyMom said...

lol...I had all those ideals as well. I think the only basis for comparison with other moms anymore is how quickly they flew out the window :)

Amy said...

Oh that sounds so me! I was soo in control of life before kiddies. I was even going to use cloth diapers! Yeah, right! Four years later I'm still pitching at least six of the non-degradable things into the trash daily and who has time to think about it?
Best laid plans, eh? Watch 'em burn.
But I'm proud of my mothering and like you are learning balance. Kids prefer a sane mom...

Ali said...


it's so true. the high expectations i set for myself were the easiest with baby #1 - no juice until age 3! no tv! no treats! - seemed a lot harder to meet once baby #2 came around 20 months later.

you just do what you have to do.

and i write this as i feed baby #3 froot loops for breakfast :)

Kira said...

oh yeah, i did exactly the same thing . exactly.