Ask AJ #1

by humanmama on June 28, 2011

Well, I have been thinking a lot about taking my writing in new directions. And I often get questions different things related to parenting. Also, sometimes, even questions related to non-parenting items. And as my brother in law says, the thing that makes you qualified to give advice on a subject is getting asked about a subject. Yay! So now I have credentials.

Here’s Ask AJ #1, brought to you by a friend of mine from college. She pretty much said (I’m paraphrasing):

“When I get together with other moms I like to catch up, but why do we have to spend the entire time talking about our kids?”

Okay, moms or friends of moms who want to talk about things other than teething, bed-wetting, sleeping through the night, and eating solids. There are so many intelligent and able-minded women out there. So many with a plethora of conversations in their gorgeous heads–sometimes serious, sometimes fun, those conversations are dying for a way out into the air.

But right in front of those meaningful thought bubbles, at the foremost of our minds, is the welfare of those little people we were entrusted with. So for many parents, especially first time parents, especially (in my experience) moms, there are so many doubts and worries and insecurities about every little detail of raising those little people to adulthood that it is nearly impossible to not vent aobut them when you see adults. Also for some people, when they see adults (this is true) they actually feel guilty that they’re taking time to themselves (I know, crazy, right? Ahem…) and feel that getting other people’s insight about the babies alleviates the guilt. Like, at least I’m talking about them if I’m not with them.

So this might sound crazy. And it might drive other people crazy. But especially stay-at-homers (Moms more than Dads, I’d say) need to talk about the kids. It helps alleviate some of the guilt, and get through some of the feelings of “What am I DOING here?!”

On the OTHER hand, people, we need to get out more often. I am talking to most parents, also dads who don’t spend a lot of time with friends or with other dads, but especially those stay-at-homer mothers out there. I am prime example number one of not taking care of myself enough, but please, please, get out more. (Here’s a great reason why, by a great writer who also needs a break.) Schedule a day every two weeks where you go out with friends. Or just see a movie by yourself. Join a gym, get a massage (*haha, right?), just do something that is not kid-related. If you’re short on cash and just out of ideas by the end of the day when you get a break, go outside and take a walk. But a long one, like 45 minutes or maybe more. And maybe with your ipod, but maybe without. Sometimes when I drop my children off somewhere (*not enough) I go to turn on the radio again and then I just don’t, and I just sit and listen to the noise of the car, and the road, and the lack of other noise.

Instead of feeling guilty when you drop off your kids somewhere or don’t discuss every detail of their bowel movements with friends, feel like you’re taking care of yourself. Since, they really can tell when you’re not. They really can.

Maybe if we all got out more often we would walk to the library or drive to the bookstore, take out a few books, read something that has more than 25 words in it. And then maybe we could discuss it? Or the drive? Or maybe we could discuss just being so darn happy to get a break every now and then? Or (my favorite) maybe we could sit and talk about how short this all is and how the days go slow and the years go so fast, and where we should go on vacation when the kids are older. Or, ‘what you would do if you won the lottery?’

Let’s talk about something. Anything but kids. Try it.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica June 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Ah, so true. I often get together with friends and with the best of intentions of not talking about the kids. Before I know it, we’re off and discussing the munchkins again, even if they’re not actually with us!
I’ve noticed you and I are on the same wavelength a lot lately. This time it’s that I’ve been writing posts answering friends’ questions, too. I don’t have your same credentials, though. Perhaps when people start asking me more about dealing with elementary school issues… : )

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Maria June 28, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Hear Hear.

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