Writer's Workshop: Ten (or so) Things I've Unlearned.

Back when I first became a mommy (you know, about a hundred years ago), my head was stuffed with all sorts of rules. Swirling around in my brain were all sorts of sentences beginning with “good mommies must…” and “good mommies never…” And you know what? I nearly drove myself mad.

Now, a whole year later, I’ve learned a little something. Okay, a lot of somethings. Mostly what I’ve learned is that those rules are total crap. Here are ten that I find particularly offensive.

Good mommies must breast feed. Oh yeah? Tell that to the screaming hellion who would have nothing to do with my boob for the first three weeks of her life. She was miserable, I was miserable, and more importantly, I was in danger of losing my mind. So yeah, I quit. I might have cost her a few IQ points, but you know what? I was formula fed and I turned out just fine (shut up. I did).

Good mommies always keep their cool.  I don’t know where I got this one from, but I was sure it was true. Then this screaming, popping, vomiting mess arrived in my life and I was anything but calm. At first, I beat myself up every time I got frustrated, or found myself close to tears, or just wanted to give up, but eventually? I realized that there was no way I was going to get through this thing if I couldn’t be free to feel whatever it was I was feeling.

Good mommies keep a clean house. Yeah. That lasted for about two days after my mom went home. My husband and I are slobs. Always have been, always will be. So I’ve learned to embrace the mess. Until, that is, company is coming. Then I run around cleaning like a mad woman (so if you hear strange noises at about 2 a.m., don’t worry. It’s just me, trying to remember how the vacuum works).

Good mommies never get bored.  I thought I was supposed to be completely enthralled with her every gurgle, babble and fart. But you know what? I’m not. Sometimes, I’d rather stick hot pokers under my toenails than play one more round of peekaboo. And that’s okay.

Good mommies never let their kids eat off the floor.  When Tori first became mobile, I freaked out every time she picked something up and put it in her mouth. But, as we’ve already discussed, I’m basically a lazy person. These days, her favorite food is cheerios…sprinkled with a layer of floor crunchies.

Good mommies lose the baby weight within the first three months. If that’s true, than I am a complete and utter failure. I’m still carrying 15 extra pounds. But that’s better than the 35 extra pounds I was padded with this time last year, so I’m going to cut myself some slack.

Good mommies never let their babies watch TV.  This is a rule I actually stuck with. For the first nine or ten months of her life, Tori never saw TV. But you know what sucks? Now, she just won’t watch it. So, when mommy wants her to space out in front of Sesame Street or Baby Einstein or something, she’ll have nothing to do with it. That kind of sucks, y’all.

Good mommies make their own rules. This one, I’ve discovered, is actually true. What works for my family might not work for your family and so on and so forth. We’re doing our best to muddle through over here, and so far? We’re doing okay (knock on wood).

Well, that’s not quite ten, but I’ve got company coming tomorrow and a whole house to clean. So, I’m going to make my own rule and pretend the assignment called for a list of eight. You got a problem with that? Then visit Mama Kat and find some other, more rule-abiding workshoppers to read.

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