Can You Share Opinions With Out Being A Sanctimommy?

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Is it possible to be opinionated on parenting via social media and not come across like a total sanctimommy? In all honesty, I’m not really sure. I have several topics on which I am extremely passionate. Passionate probably to a fault, especially in how I express my opinion. From research I have read, one is unlikely to change the opinion of an opposing view point by berating or at least typing in all caps on Facebook. Ok, I am kind of paraphrasing but you get the gist. Hence why everyone hates all the judge moms roaring all over social media. In church today, our pastor finished up a sermon series called Jesus Didn’t Say That. This final week focused on “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin.” A phrase I’ve heard more since moving below the Mason-Dixon Line, but essentially it’s the Christian equivalent to internet mom shaming. Even if your intention is good, no one is going to listen to the point of your message if shame is the overarching tone.

I will be the first to say this is not something that is within my list of strengths. I am good and judging. I can spot a scrunchy from like a mile off. Maybe that’s because I am praying if I am talking about that poor soul’s scrunchy you won’t notice my third day of dry-shampooed hair and VPL (visible panty line) through my yoga pants because let’s be real, some days a thong just ain’t happening. It’s a part of our culture, that whole worrying about the sins of others while blatantly ignoring our own.

The sheer number of times I have gotten caught up in comment wars is embarrassing and I am so glad I don’t have hard data on things like this. I am fiery and highly emotional. There are benefits to this, I do have off the charts empathy, but I cannot watch even a commercial with a hint of injustice without waterworks. I want other parents to know what I know from experience. Especially from my nursing experience. I want people to understand the difference between a good, scientific source for information and an opinion (like this ironically). But I do fear that often that passion is misconstrued or mishandled by me and comes across as too much.

I scour the internet constantly for parenting tips de jour. Because doesn’t it seem like as soon as you master one phase, a new one comes at you like a freight train or at least like Thomas the Tank Engine? Maybe that’s why we are all so keen on noticing the flaws in each other’s styles. None of us has any idea what we are doing. Quite frankly the moms who scare me the most are the ones who are unafraid. If you are completely convinced that you have this parenting thing down you might just be a Martian in my book.

If you’re worried about being a good mom that means you already are one. –Jodi Picoult

I am not going to attempt to squelch my passions because that’s not honoring who I am meant to be, but I will pause and take a breath. Maybe 32 (coming up fast in November) will finally be the year I know my thoughts before I hear them coming out of my mouth. Or at least recognizing the power of the backspace button. Probably not, but it’s a great goal. The whole purpose of my blog is A) to build a community however small of women who recognize this time in motherhood is messy beautiful and B) to grow as a woman and writer. So if you need me, I’ll be ordering a scrunchy off Prime, I’d make one off Pinterest but we should really embrace our strengths and mine is clicking rather than stitching. I will be attempting kindness over judgment as I wing my way through each parenting phase. And by wing I mean cry/google/laugh my way through. I hope you’ll join me with comments and your own experience.

Go On That Mom-Cation: Tips For A Successful Cup-Filling Trip

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Go on that Mom-cation. Having just come back from a long weekend with two girl friends, I can personally attest: Stop making excuses, make a plan, and GO! The concept has been all over the media recently with viral articles such as Psychologists Suggest Mothers Take Breaks By Going on Mom-cation. For both a brighter and darker view of humanity I suggest you read the comments. Going on a girls only mom trip does not mean A) you don’t love your children B) you are a selfish jerk or C) Dad shouldn’t get his time too. What it does mean is that having a 24/7 unpaid often thankless job of motherhood, regardless of whether or not you also have a job outside the home, entitles you to a little R&R every once and a while. Here are a few pointers to help you plan your own such getaway.

A Resort or Even a Destination is Not Required.

So you and ten of your closest girls want to spend the week on an over the water bungalow in Tahiti? Well, I have neither the derriere nor the Kardashian cash to make that happen. For my trip we borrowed a family members beach condo (FREE), but it could be as simple as shipping one lady’s hubby and kiddos to grandma’s and loading up on popcorn and Netflix at her place for the weekend. The point isn’t the scenery, it’s the rest and the late night (9pm) chats without having to wake up 5 times through the night.

Your Spouse and Kids will Appreciate You in Your Absence.

Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. I think it is so good for my children to witness what a great parent their father is without mommy around. Although this isn’t easy to admit, often as the primary caregiver (because I stay home) I find myself saying or doing things that undercut his wonderful parenting just because it’s not exactly how I may have done something. So what? Our kids benefit from the balance between different parents as long as they present a united front on big issues. It’s also so sweet to miss the little monsters who have my whole heart, but also drive me a little bananas most days. I didn’t check the monitor on my phone every night while I was gone from my phone just to watch them sleeping or anything…

Expect Changes to Your Plans.

At the conceptualization of this trip, we had eight of us interested in going. Three went. Babies and kids and schedules are just this phase of life. Who better to be flexible than a bunch of moms? Would eight girls have been fantastic? Of course. But it would have been a completely different kind of trip. With three, we had deeper conversations and less to work around logistically. My daughter vomited two days before we left because that’s just what kids do.

You’ll Return Refreshed.

Much of this phase of parenting young children feels a little like the movie Groundhog Day. It’s fun to have treats that fill your soul and connect you back with friends on a level that sometimes gets put on the back burner while raising small children. I want my children to see me making time for my friendships. I want them to see their father doing the same. Of course we can’t do this all the time. Our priorities are as they should be our marriage and children. I encourage you though to not let so much time pass without giving yourself a break with friends. Even if it’s just an afternoon away or a night at a friend’s house. It will be well with your soul. And that will reflect on to all those we hold most dear.