It’s not Ranty Friday yet, but it’s my blog, so I will rant on another day of the week if I want to!
Actually, parenting advice doesn’t drive me mad, I have had some fabulous advice and support, from friends, family, Twitter, Facebook and here, on all manner of parenting things, and there are some great resources and books out there, if you need them.
What does drive me mad, is people who don’t know me or my child (ren) giving me unwanted, and unneeded advice or people posting “inspiring parenting posts” on social media…
The lady on the bus today, who took it upon herself to tell that Small Boy needs a hair cut, and proceeded to lecture me that he looks like a girl, I really could have done without… Yes, he probably does need it cut, although I personally like the curls and length, and I will be taking him to get it cut, it is on my to-do list, but really, does a stranger on public transport need to tell me what to do with my own child? (what is it with me, and buses, I hear you asking, I know, maybe I should pass my driving test, then I wouldn’t have to deal with the fun and games of my fellow passengers, I’d just end up ranting about my fellow drivers instead!)
The random mother in the playground at school, telling me off for letting Small Boy have his dummy still, at aged 3? Really? I did actually ask her if she wanted to come round and deal with him for a week, and the trauma of taking away said beloved dummy, whilst he is still struggling with ear issues. She went a bit quiet after that, and has avoided me for a few weeks since then!
The rather odd man, in Starbucks, last week, who came across and proceeded to tell my children to “stop kicking each other, because when Social Services come round, they won’t believe that the bruises aren’t from your mother hitting you” (they had been kicking each other under the table, playing a game, which then got a bit silly, and I had told them to stop, when he decided to intervene) I was so shocked at his remark, I didn’t say anything, but really, REALLY, who says that to small children? Big Girl then wanted to know what Social Services were, and when were they coming round, which took some explaining.
People posting long copies of blog posts they’ve picked up from the internet, on how to enjoy your children, don’t wish away the early years, ignore the dust bunnies, and dodgy stains on your carpet, and paint and dance with your kids instead, it makes you a better Mum, then tagging me in these posts?? Seriously? For one, I have taken the tagging feature off my pages, because I don’t like random photos or things being put on my timeline without my consent or preview, and another is they clearly don’t know me, or how I work. I adore my kids, my heart aches, when I look at them, and realise they are growing up, and one day, won’t need me as much as they do now, and that they aren’t babies anymore, and I would give my life for them, but my dancing around to silly music, whilst ignoring the gathering filth in my home, does NOT make me a better mother. I like a clean, orderly environment, and it helps me to cope better and actually mother better, if my life is in order. No, I don’t expect a pristine house, but I can’t pretend that the mess and chaos isn’t there and carry on. I do lots of fun stuff with my kids, they get a lot of my time and attention, but sometimes, they have to entertain themselves, while I clean the bathroom, or deal with the ever growing laundry mountain, so they have clean pants and socks, and frankly, my mother didn’t ignore her home, managed to keep it clean and neat, and still was able to parent my brother and I, and we survived! I don’t ever remember her dancing madly round the house to music, in an attempt to be a better mother to us, and bond with us, but I do remember a clean, lovely home, that felt like a place I wanted to be in, and my mother being houseproud was part of who she was and something I loved about her. I am sure she would think my house was a tip, right now, and she’d be right, I am working on it!
Blog post or Facebook posts telling mothers (and fathers) off for using technology whilst they should be “playing with their kids” and “not ignoring them”. Again, this is just annoying. My phone, and my social networking are part of my life, and I do not use it at the expense of my children. I don’t let them do dangerous things, or neglect them, whilst I am busy reading blogs or chatting on Twitter. Motherhood can be quite isolating and lonely at times, social media has been a lifeline for me, and many others, and if my children are playing happily in the park, and are safe, not needing me to hover over them, or entertain them, then why am I not allowed to look at a friends photos on Facebook. In the old days, I’d be sitting knitting, chatting to another parent, (which I do, as well, now) or reading a book on how to keep my house clean and my family happy, while my children entertained themselves and got some fresh air and exercise at the park, so why is social media the evil of all evils? Stop lecturing me on what to do when my kids are happy and don’t need my attention.
I could go on, and on, but I won’t. Here endeth the non Friday Rant. Safe to say, that sometimes, well meaning or “helpful” advice isn’t that helpful and it doesn’t go down that well. Feel free to comment or add to my list!