Monday, April 9, 2007

My Parenting Philosophy

There are dozens of parenting philosophies one can choose from. If you like your baby next to you all the time (in bed, in the sling, in the Bjorn) you are an AP or Attachment Parent. If you like to let your baby develop independently then perhaps you are an RIE parent (Resource for Infant Educarers). If you feel the need to listen to your children and never say no, you might just be a TCS mommy (Taking Children Seriously). None of these philosophies really work for me. And after two months I can safely say, I am a FFM--a frequent flier mommy. Yes, I believe in the one philosophy that is espoused on every airplane the world over: "Should the cabin experience a loss of pressure secure your own oxygen mask first before assisting others."

When I was a little girl, I was disturbed by this idea every time I took a flight. But now I get it. What good is mommy to others if she is passed out herself? So I put my own oxygen mask on first. I make sure I eat breakfast, get a run in everyday and spend a little time alone with R at the end of each day. Make no mistake, I do not neglect my baby or husband so I can do my own thing. But my free time is for me. If the house is messier because of it, so be it. If the laundry is not done everyday, it will still be there tomorrow. So many mothers play martyr to their families, using every napping minute to scrub, cook and vacuum. They go months without a haircut, days without showering, eating or going to the bathroom. But their laundry is done, their houses immaculate and their children perfectly groomed. That is not me. If it seems selfish, ok. But I want to be the best mother I can be without losing sight of myself.

I make choices. I don't have time (or the money) for the workout, manicure, pedicure, waxes, spray tan and haircut and style that used to make up my routine. So I choose which of those matter and I make sure I get them in. It may sound shallow, but guess what: if mommy looks like a hairy troll that crawled out from under the bridge sporting morning breath, old sweats and an 80's hairdo, then she will also act like one.

Look, I give martyr mommies mad props. They probably don't have cat hair all over their feet if they walk barefoot across their floor. But I am not one. I need a little for myself before I can give it to anyone else. I have found that on the days I don't get "Sasha time" I don't enjoy my sing a longs to Samara's kid's CD or endlessly reading her the same books over and over. I need an hour or two each day that is just mine. I realize she is just two months old and this short amount of parenting time does not an expert make. But I am declaring this now as my philosophy so that in 2010 when anyone asks why there are papers on the kitchen island from 2007, I will explain: "I am an FFM" and go merrily off on a run.


Kristi said...

Love this! I am the same type of mom, although given my husband's work schedule, it's really hard for me to get my "me" time. But I crave it like crazy, and when he is around, I have no problem claiming it!

Stephanie said...

I love it! I am feverishly taking notes for some time in the future (hopefully!)