Going Off Schedule…I’m a Good Mom and So Are You
A Response to Yet Another List I Shouldn’t Have Read
Well, the schedule for today called for a post about the dreaded kid’s closet change over. I know you were waiting on pins and needles for it and I promise to get it back on the schedule very soon. But, I recently read something that has grated on me a bit and the routine-loving momma in me wanted to write about it.
The article I read was a list of things that the author declared she was going to stop doing that “good moms” do. I’m not so sure why this article stuck with me when so many of the things I read off social media just roll off me. The word “good” might have something to do with it. That word is so hard on moms. We judge ourselves and other moms with that word all the time. Maybe putting it in the title just made it a gut punch right off the bat because that word “good” can be so black and white for so many of us when we let the guilt of motherhood take over the few rational parts of our brains that haven’t been shut down by lack of sleep already.
But, my organizational, routine-loving head really started to spin when I got to the list of things that the author planned to give up doing. Now again, the title of the article implies that “good” moms will continue to do these things. But the whole premise of the article (at least in my opinion) has an undertone of judgmental eye rolling towards moms who would consider continuing these tasks.
The two tasks that seemed to bother me the most that the author plans to give up are bathing her kids every day (going to a few baths a week) and having an elaborate bedtime routine. As a person who loves routine and believes that kids do well with routine and structure, I’m all about some kind of nighttime routine. Especially with younger children, I believe they need the cues of routine to know what to expect and to know what is expected of them. And, yes, I bathe my kid every day and I have since he was a few weeks old. I think it’s an important part of his routine. It’s a trigger that it’s time to start winding down and get ready for sleep (precious sleep!) It’s a way to get off daycare/school grossness and keep his bed and stuffed animals clean(er.) And, it’s a time for him to play, be silly and to ask him questions about his day when he’s not distracted by too many other things. I find daily baths and nighttime routines incredibly important for my child. I get that every family has what works for them. I guess it’s not so much about the tasks listed, in fact I could agree with some of the tasks she plans to give up. Again, I think what dug into me was more about the word “good” and the judgement that I either felt emanating from that word because I disagree with some of the points in the article.
I’m completely used to disagreeing with the many articles and the lists that I run across daily. I read, agree, disagree, say “hmm,” maybe share some of them and then I move on. But, when one crosses my path that has potential to make that little dig that no mom needs but we all know is hovering, waiting on the chance for our minds to be weak enough to let it in, dig a little and plant yet one more seed of mommy guilt apparently that’s when I finally speak up.