Friday, May 15, 2009

Confessions of a bad mother

Ok, so I hope I'm not actually a bad mother, but I sure don't follow all the rules that all the parenting magazines tout for "good mothering". Plus, mother's day is over, so we're past all the flowery compliments and recognition that come with that holiday. Furthermore, have you ever been subjected to someone who goes through the blow by blow of why she's a good mother? Not fun and not too interesting. Much better are the tales of bad mothering and that's why I ordered this book after seeing a review online:

I think there's plenty of benefit to be gained by sharing stories about bad mothering... First, if it's something really bone headed, it can serve as a warning to other mothers who might have done the same bone headed thing if not for having heard your story. Second, no matter how perfect we think we are, we're wrong and it's good for perspective to know that we're not alone in our flaws. Lastly, it's much funnier to read about the things we do wrong than to hear about the stuff we do right.

With that said, here are some of my confessions so far:

1. Breastfeeding. Oh yes, I fancy myself as such a good mother for still exclusively breastfeeding at 5 months (yes, Radar turns 5 months tomorrow... wowsers!)... however, it seems I have ignored some of the other literature about diet during breastfeeding. If I remember to take vitamins once a week, that's a lot. I'm up to two (sometimes three) cups of coffee a day. I love salads, but it takes much longer to make a good salad than to open and eat 5 or 6 chocolates (or 7 or 8 or 9)... so I eat much more of the latter than the former. All in all, I think it's safe to say that in recent weeks my nutritional intake has left much to be desired and Radar eats what I eat!

2. TV and the walker. In my defense, when I impulsively bought the walker, I did not know that the American Academy of Pediatrics highly discourages using them:

I can't, however, claim ignorance on studies that show that TV is bad for kids. So, with all the information I now have, how do you explain my favorite morning baby sitting routine of plopping Radar in the walker in front of the TV while I make my coffee and eat my breakfast? Bad mothering perhaps?

3. The car seat. Now here I can claim to be very strict about always making sure that Radar is strapped in before I go... except of course for the day when I went to pick my dad up at the airport with Serena (last Saturday) and Radar threw a fit when we tried to put him back in the car seat. So, for the 5 minute drive home Serena held Radar in her lap in the back seat while I told everyone that this was a one time exception and that I "never" do this! Even though Radar was exceedingly happy during the ride, let's hope I never do it again!

That's all the confession my poor soul can pour out for now. I'd love to hear some of your bad mothering, fathering, babysittying or "whatever child rearing relationship you have" confessions... anything to make me feel better! I'll take the worst three offenses and set up a new poll so that you can help me determine who the worst mother, father, aunt, uncle, etc, really is... The "worst" winner will win a book autographed by Radar (yes, he is autographing books now!)

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar





Jenna said...

I am actually in awe at what a good mom you are. I wish I was more like you while Logan was little, maybe next time(if there is a next time) i will enjoy everyday and have fun just like you.

Channel Swimmer said...

Radar - human. You - human. Antonio - human. Dardo - human. ALL HUMANS! Where is the pug post we have been promised?!? I feel betrayed and tricked!!

Anonymous said...

There are so many examples of poor mothering to think about....I did leave Lori on a bed when she was a few months old and she rolled off on to the floor. But everyone has done that and she was left with only minor brain damage. So... this one makes the list big time..Lori and I took Kate, her nine year old sister to the local mall {consisting of three small stores in the 80's} We went to the Grocery and Kate went to the Drugstore... to look at Comic Books or steal some candy...can't remember which. We took our time and after loading everything into the car, headed out the back road to our house in the country.About four miles out, we sensed that something was wrong? "Didn't we have Kate with us?" We immediatly turned around and sped back to town where we found a very unhappy child...standing in front of the store, holding her Little Lulu and Mars Bar.
No need to say that she has never let me forget it.."Remember the time?" and The word Abandoned has become a staple of her vocabulary. And because I am such a bad Mother, I have, on occasion, told her that I should have just left her there....

Joan Crawford in Searsport

Anonymous said...

THIS IS .......... HU HU ,,,

Abuela said...


Dardo said...

I nominate the babysitter Javier Pazos circa 1982/1983 for his practive of ethanol baby sedation therapy. I don't remembera ll the details, my memory of that that time in my life is very fuzzy.

Abuela said...

I'll try again-I was eradicated earlier in the day. I've indulged in so many categories of bad mothering. Example: seeking role models for children."Titi, why aren't you like the little miss down the street?" And just how was I to know she was the class slut? And learn from TV-and back in the day I believed, so even when they didn't want to, I made them tune into Sesame Street and the Electric Company-what do kids know? Certainly not that Mom was following the story lines, and had a crush on The Count. I think Radar will learn quite a bit from the telenovelas. Abuela

Anonymous said...

Nice try, Abuela!
But not even close... Now if you had let your child walk the roads at night with a knife in her purse or brought home strange guys off the ships that docked in the bay, you might have a chance. Can we nominate our own parents who set a frightening example for our own parenting skills?

Joan Crawford

Marco said...

Xavier's first doctor's visit was 2 days after we got home from the hospital. He hadn't gotten the hang of breastfeeding in the hospital, he had been having some formula and pumped milk, but still losing weight, so they wanted the first visit sooner than normal. It was a very cold windy November day so I bundled X in his warmest footed pajamas and hat. This would be our first time going out, and I remembered that I would need a diaper bag. Diapers, wipes, changing pad, check, check, check, we were good to go. We packed the baby in the carrier fitted with the built in sleeping bag, clicked him into car base and made it to the doctor's office a ½ hour early. As Frank was checking in at the desk I realized that X was wet. I excitedly took him to the restroom to use for the first time ever a public changing table! And I unfolded that table, wiped it down, lay out the changing pad, and went in for the baby. He was completely soaked in pee! This was another first that had never occurred to me. I took off his drench outfit that dipped as if I'd just pulled it out of a swimming pool. I gave X a head to toe wipe bath and tried to dab dry him with paper towels and my sweat pants. Why didn't I have a another outfit or blanket? The carrier was also soaked so I shoved a bunch of paper towel to absorb the pee. I cradled X tight against my chest, put my coat around us and exited the restroom. Upon exiting I encountered some woman who asked my why my baby was naked. I explained about the accident. She had a very horrified look, as she explained that I needed to pack extra clothes. Thank you, I realize that now. I made my way to the waiting room with everyone watching at me as I passed. Frank asked why the baby was naked, so I explained. Some people came by explained that we needed to pack extra clothes and blankets. Thank you, go away! We went in to see the doctor who was very alarmed at the sight of our naked newborn. I was given a paper sheet that I swaddled the baby in several times over. They weighted X and examined him. He was completely healthy except that he was still losing weight, I was apparently starving him. If only he had waited to pee! They sent us to have some blood drawn, where the phlebotomist lectured us on the importance of keeping babies warm, feeding them 24 hrs a day, recommended we take parenting classes and demanded Frank drive home to get warm clothes. Frank went out, warmed the car, pulled up front. There were some sheets in the car (Frank's a massage therapist) so we bundled him in a pillowcase, packed in the carrier with the paper towels, and tucked the folded sheet as a blanket. We then got the hell out of Dodge City with a mob of angry posses with pitchforks, guns and nooses chasing us the whole way to the burger joint we stopped at for lunch. I had a medium rare ¼ pounder with pineapple and guacamole; it was delicious. It is by no means the worst thing I've done as a mother, but one I got the most recognition for.

Tia Sara said...

OK Titi, you can stop badgering me. I will do a bad mother post. Mind you I have tried to forget, or have forgotten most of the negative things (some of that might be because of my weakness for champagne), but I do remember Carlo's first day of kindergarten. We had gone to orientation to meet the teacher and the other students and to get to know about the bus schedules. As per instructions, I had written a name tag (with address and phone number and had pinned it on to Carlo. We went down to the bus stop early because we were so exited and joined a little group of kids already there. The bus came and stopped; before I let Carlo get in I asked the driver if this bus was for kindergarteners also. He assured me it was. What I did not bother to ask was what school the bus was for. I also neglected to read the side of the bus that would have informed me that the bus belonged to the German School. Thanks to the name tag, I was called when the German's did not find Carlo enrolled in any of their classes. I went to go get Carlo, and let me tell you I felt stupid... The superior attitude from the German's did not help. I delivered Carlo to his Kindergarten class when it was almost over for the day, and explaining to the teacher why we were late was not easy either. I was truly surprised when Carlo got on the bus the next day (the correct one this time) with a minimum of trauma, but I have always wondered if this incident scarred him for life.