Favorite Posts of September

Here's a little monthly recap of some of my essays and posts I've written for Babble.com and mom.me. Starting next month, I'll also be writing about relationships (including my own complicated story) for YourTango.com — filling out the "early marriage" perspective from Early Mama.

I hope you enjoy...

3 Inconvenient Truths of Parenting

“There are certain truths about life — about people, about parenting — that we all know to be true, and yet they’re hard to admit to ourselves. As a whole, we tend to indulge in magical thinking or various forms of denial, and we’re so quick to look for shortcuts and easy answers for impossible questions.

Sometimes we just have to wake up and face reality.

Like these three inconvenient truths of parenting, for instance:”


 

Teaching My Son About Boundaries Means Setting Some of My Own

Furthering the discussion of codependency...

“Having weak boundaries makes it hard to take care of ourselves in the way that every parent wants their child to take care of themselves. We don’t want our children’s lack of boundaries to contribute to (or cause) uncomfortable, chronic control issues and a heartbreaking lack of self-esteem. We want them to have healthy relationships and a strong sense of self, right? We want them to protect themselves when we aren’t around to do the protecting.

In order to do that, they need to have boundaries in place. In order to do that, they need to have boundaries in place.

But how can I help my child set boundaries when I’m just starting to practice setting my own?”


 

How a Glass of Water Helped My Child Understand His Emotions

Furthering the discussion of emotional awareness...

“I called my 5-year-old son to the kitchen table, where he saw a clear glass of water, a box of baking soda, and a spoon.

I could see the reluctance on his face, as if to say, ‘Is this some kind of sick game that ends in me choking down medicine?’

‘Don’t worry, you don’t have to drink anything,’ I said preemptively. ‘I just want to show you a little something about how our bodies work.’”


 

Millennial Moms Want “Me Time”…So What?

(They changed the headline to read, “Millennial Moms Reject ‘Good’ Parenting”…but I prefer the original.)

“I’m tired of the antiquated, unrealistic ideal that a mother’s ‘goodness’ relies on her selflessness. That we’re supposed to put our own needs and wants at the bottom of a to-do list in order to serve the needs and wants of our kids. That we should feel guilty — or at least apologize for — wanting to take time for ourselves and do whatever we need to feel happy and healthy.”


 

My Kid Has Older Friends, and It Scares Me

“I know first-hand how badly kids want to be around older, cooler kids. I know how this dynamic, if left unsupervised, can lead to things being learned too soon, too crudely, as the little one’s innocence slowly seeps like water from a sieve.

The oldest one in the neighborhood clan is in sixth grade, and no matter how nice and polite he might be, that’s a scary age gap. A lot happens between Kindergarten and middle school, and all of the mixed-age benefits can’t deny the very real coming-of-age crap along the way.”


 

10 Things Parents of Only Children Are Sick of Hearing

#9. ‘You’re not a real mother until you have two.’

I’ve heard this from at least a dozen people, including my own mother. As if motherhood is defined by stress and competing schedules and numbers of diapers changed.

I am a real mother, and I don’t have to prove that to anyone.”

(Early Mamas of onlies: I wrote another post last month that you might be interested in, too. I never expected to have an only child — as evidenced by this post and this post and this post — but it's something I've explored here for years. "I Was Barely Ready for One. Is It Responsible to Have Another?" I asked. I hemmed and hawed. I indulged in questionable reasons to get pregnant — wondering, "Is this a bad reason to bring a life into the world?" I've THOUGHT about it a lot...probably too much...but if you've read my posts you already know I tend to over-think things. All I know is that the time hasn't been right for us, and my timeline has no baring on yours. Maybe we'll have another, maybe we won't. For now I'll enjoy the heck out of the one I have.)


Thank you so much for reading and commenting and sharing my writing. Being able to write out my late-night musings and experiences, send them out into the world, and receive such positive feedback? It means everything to me.

So thank you for that.