Peevishly yours

I follow a few of the young, well, “mommy-blahggers”. Actually, I think these young bloggers deserve a better title, probably something better even than “life-blogger with a current focus on parenting.” I don’t comment a lot on those sites (or any sites really — if I don’t have something constructive to say, it’s better to just sit on my hands) largely because I always hated it when I was a young mother and people who were then the age I am now tried to shove unsolicited advice down my throat. I definitely didn’t know it all then and I think I sometimes even asked for advice or at least a reality check. But it wasn’t necessarily helpful when some withered old bag would lecture me about how I should do this or that yada yada.

My withered old bag is not one particular person. She is bits and pieces of about a gazillion people I have known in my lifetime. And sometimes she is me! She includes our former *beloved* neighbors who asked me if I was going to put my yet to be born baby in day care. I didn’t intend to but I was playing a game with my work at the time, so I hedged and said it was a possibility. They then asked what my *mother* thought about that. At that moment, I wasn’t even sure where my mother *was*. By that I mean that my parents were scheduled to take a group joy-ride to the Canadian Maritime Provinces with some aunts and uncles and I expected that they were on that trip and nobody had cell phones then and so I didn’t expect my mother to call home. And then there was The Diaper Brigade. Dun dun dun duh-duh-duh dun dun dun… Cloth or paper/plastic. You could ruin your kid/the earth either way. Sigh. I am a wimp. I did not have any experience changing a baby’s diaper until I had my first beach urchin at the grand old age of 30! Pampers worked for me. If I had to do it again? Maybe I’d do it differently. Oh, probably not… And I will not even go anywhere near the dern breast-feeding argument. Or maybe I will. I did. Some people can’t. We all do what we can. Live and let live.

Advice? There are a couple things going on here. Yes, there are certain things that people would like to put into the category of not letting history repeat itself. Food battles. Homework battles. Clothing battles. Battles. Battles. Battles. Our kids need to grow up to be independent people who can take care of themselves. They need to make their own rules. If we can manage to pick our way through all of the minefields involved in raising children, they will adopt a personalized version of our values even if some of their rules are different. Maybe some of their rules *have* to be different! When I was in junior high, there was one telephone in our whole house. It was the old black dial-up kind. If a boy actually wanted to call me, he might have to get through my, ulp, father, the bank president and old WWII pilot, before getting me on the line. And I would be in the living room with, um, other people. I was always a bit envious of the kids in my little town who had a “teen phone” listed in the phone book. That would never have happened at my house.

Fast forward. When my kids were in middle school, I finally got my first cell phone. We were just moving out of the days when there was one email account for a whole family (remember those days?) and Instant Messenger was a new thing. We had one computer for the whole family. We would come home from play rehearsals and eat a late breakfast dinner and then the kids would get onto I/M with, well, probably mostly the kids they had just seen at the rehearsal and some middle/high school friends too. I never looked at the screen to see what they were doing. I was watching falling asleep to Taxi or whatever on Nick at Night. I’m not sure why I trusted my kids but somehow I always did.

And then all of a sudden, everybody had Apple laptops, like in the picture, which was taken at Fin Family Moominbeach and yes that is a manhattan on top! I wonder what the parents of my grandchildren (and, do not get me wrong, I am NOT expecting grandchildren any time soon), will have to deal with. It will be different than what I had to deal with. It will be waaaaayyyy different than what my parents had to deal with. Yes, there are some things that don’t change with each generation but some things do and that is why each generation of parents needs to be free to tweak the values they were raised with and form their own rules.

Well, all of that is certainly not what I started out to write today. I hope it made some sense but I’m not sure it did. But that’s par for the course around here (-:

Good night,

4 Responses to “Peevishly yours”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I guess my mind is boggled by the work outside the home or not brigade when many SAH “mommy bloggers” or Facebookers seem to spend a lot of their time ON-LINE and not with the kids. (including my SIL who has been pretty clear that a good mom would NOT work outside the home–but is constantly on FB) I’m glad that computers didn’t exist when I had little ones and even later weren’t anything like they are now; I would have been pretty tempted. 😉

  2. Pooh Says:

    Best advice I got when my beach urchin followed yours into the world — read as many parenting books as you want, then go with the one that feels right to you! And the source of this wisdom was Kayak Woman. Kudos!

  3. kayak woman Says:

    Well, to Pooh, WOW! I did read a LOT of books. But I don’t remember saying that!

    I also have to add that, if the internet had been a viable method of communication when I had my kids, I’d’ve probably pioneered mommy-blogging. As it was, I spent quite a bit of time using the computers that we had (Apple II+ and then an early version of the Macintosh) to do spreadsheet work, etc. But the internet wasn’t really useful to the average mom in those days and digital cameras were unheard of.

  4. Uncly Uncle Says:

    I let Gay read all the books. I used my common sense.