Keepin' It Real . . . and Other Misconceptions

Here's the thing about keepin' it real: I so want to! Really, I do. I just think it's easier at times than others. Suppose you're with a group of moms who are all about being health-conscience for their families. (I know this is a good thing. Keep reading.) As everyone's talking about organic grapes and such (btw, are there such a thing as organic grapes?), how would you feel about being the mom who says her child lives on Fruit Loops, mac-n-cheese, chicken nuggets (when we're lucky) and yogurt? (And maybe a vegetable if I can trick her into eating one.) I have been this mom many a time. Another example, the other night I was with a bunch of moms who were praising breast-feeding to the heavens. I know it's a good thing. But it didn't work for me and not doing it didn't break my heart or cause me anxiety. (Doing it caused me a lot more anxiety.) I thought about keepin' it real and saying that breast-feeding wasn't a big deal to me, then decided to just keep quiet and nod.

But the truth is, I'm completely okay with these aspects of my parenting. Jeff and I came into this deciding we were going to be more laid-back and we are. And while I do want my family to be healthy, I'm not going to stress over every choice when it comes to what we eat. (And with Ashtyn, just getting her to eat is enough stress.) So not always sharing my perspective on these things has more to do with other people's reactions rather than my choices. Some moms are super natural about things like childbirth. When my OBGYN asked me if I wanted her to hand me the baby as soon as he came out--I told her, "No, thank you. Please clean him up. And if his head happens to be cone-shaped, please put a hat on him first." I'm all about the natural unless it's unbelievably painful, bloody, gross, or cry-worthy.

But when I think about the women I most admire and respect, it occurs to me that my feelings toward them rarely have anything to do with us agreeing on things, rather, I love that they are comfortable in their own skin. They're okay with their own choices. They don't need the approval of women around them. Their choices are their choices. They own them. To me, that kind of confidence is so attractive. I saw that in my mother many times. (Even though, I'll be honest, the peer pressure to be organic was not as high living in an area where you might see tots drinking Dr. Pepper out of bottles.) I love being a mom. But I also love being a mom who doesn't stress too much about all things kid-related (more so the second time around than the first). Yesterday, I got Ashtyn to eat both a banana and a green bean. Hallelujah! Times are good. I'm just keepin' it real, people. ;)


*Kid update. Today Ashtyn started telling me things are "clean as a whistle." So cute! I don't know if I say this a lot or she heard her teacher say it or what, but it's adorable.

24 comments

  1. I am totally with you! I wish I were mor comfortable with the. Houses I have made in terms of sharing with others. Nursing worked for 4 months (well, pumping really did) until I went back to work. And my son alternates between chicken nuggets and ravioli most nights. Getting him to eat can be a challenge, though he loves his fruit so I don't sweat the fact he does not eat veggies. My mom reminds me all the time I was in my 30s before I was willing to try and eat veggies! I vary between being laid back and uptight with all this mom stuff though!

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    1. Oh I know! So many of us didn't even try lots of foods until we were older!

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  2. I sometimes wonder if it is peer pressure of our surrounding? When I am in some geographical areas other things just seem to be more important than when I am in others... coming from Kenya all I think is the physics of hierarchy of needs --- You cannot afford formula or even its not available so every woman or 99% just nurse their kids here... meats and frozen foods are so expensive; Fruits and vegetable are soooo cheap ( I spend $10 for 15 pounds of stuff) and we saved our chicken for big occasions but we lived on green coz that is the way of life ( basically poverty!) --- soda, ice-cream are just HUGE treat like Easter is coming so Soda here I came....

    But the peer pressure I get from living in Kenya is education " is so hot!" if your kid is not going to the BEST private school -- you are basically not in the circle.....4 year olds can add and multiply, I really miss my america where 4 yr old we just watch cartoons!

    My point is what matters to my people in Castle is a way of life for my kenyan people.. AND what matters for Kenyans is a way of life in castle rock... Like running and walking.. in Kenya 80% don't own cars and so we just walk and walk... run if you need to get there on time ( not cool)... In castle rock a race is the coolest thing! I could go on and on....

    ...but thanks for the post, thought provoking, my kids don't eat veggies because I don't try hard!

    Nancy

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  3. stopping by from SITS...

    yes, great post. I recently posted about having a handful of people that I trust, because we don't always agree but I know they will always support me.

    Breast feeding didn't work for me, I had constant infections and had to just give up. My true friends just supported me and didn't care and they know I will support them too.

    Going to follow your blog now babe/.

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  4. I completely agree! I had a very hard time going back to work after my little one was born and somehow every time I would try and talk about it with other moms I would get 1. "I am a better mother than you because I handle the balance better than you" or 2. "I'm a better mother than you because I can afford to stay home". It is so frustrating that we can't keep it real with other moms who should know that motherhood is complicated! Okay. End Rant.

    Love the blog! Happy SITS Day!

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  5. I happen to be a fan of telling it like it is (the tagline of my blog after all!), so I typically say what our reality is no matter who I am talking to. If they back away slowly or look put off by my reality, then I figure we were not meant to be friends anyway. Most of the time, though, what actually happens is that they immediately start telling me their reality, and I can see that is really refreshing to them not to have to tow the line! ;)
    Happy SITS day! :)

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  6. I am all about keeping it real and telling it like it is (the tagline of my blog, after all!), so I pretty much tell my reality no matter who I am talking to. Most people seem really relieved and wind up sharing their own reality in return.
    Happy SITS day! :)

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  7. Yup, I'm keeping it real, too. I share stories about how I fail to be the perfect mom...yet that really could be everyone's story! I'm just not sure some folks are comfortable admitting their kids hate vegetables and live on mac n cheese. :)

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  8. It is a great perspective; not stressing about the little things. My children still find it difficult to eat some of the things I want them to, and I try, (though I fail sometimes)to let them be.
    Visiting from SITS, have a memorable SITS day!
    Love

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  9. Stopping by from Sits! Your kiddos are adorable!!

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  10. No one is perfect, and I don't think there is a right or wrong way to be a parent (unless we're talking extreme cases like abuse). I say own it. I've held back from "being real" with people for the same reasons you stated. That's how you know those people probably aren't your tribe.

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  11. Relaxed parenting is so much better for you and your children. Trust your heart.

    And I don't think it unreal to keep your mouth shut in those situations. You're not going to convice anyone to change her mind, you're going to be judged, and you might end up feeling bad about a decision that's over and done with. Not worth it. As long as you keep it real with your family, that's all that matters.

    Good luck with the organic mommies. I wish women could be confident enough in their own choices to not feel the need to push them on everyone else. We all need more support.

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  12. Being authentic is important. You can only be the best if you are yourself. Happy SITS Day.

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  13. I hate extremism. And when you practice any lifestyle - even a really healthy or otherwise good one - to the point that others feel bad for NOT being that way, then it's a problem. I agree wholeheartedly with your laid back lifestyle. Happy SITS day!!

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  14. Comfortable in our own skin is a glorious place to be! And it's truly a wonderful gift we give our kids when we parent from our own hearts rather than the latest and greatest mommy-ing fad. Good for you in being the mom you want to be ... I doing it your way!

    Visiting from SITS ... enjoy your day!

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  15. Hopping over from SITS...
    You need to do what is right for you and your family. And WE all need to remember that 99% of what other people do has no effect on our lives. Live and let live! :)

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  16. Staying silent and nodding is not mutually exclusive with keeping it real, you know. But I love your honesty. :-)

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  17. So cute!! I have to say, I'm in the boat with you - getting her to simply EAT is a win in my book, and I just try to space out the crazy junk (like top ramen, her favorite) with other things that have more nutrition. It can be a losing battle, and ugh...I just want you to eat and be healthy. Come on kid!

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  18. Over from Sits Day - love the pics of the kids - they are so cute. It is important to be comfortable in one's one skin :)

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  19. You are my kinda girl! Breastfeeding? A beautiful thing, but nope didn't work and my kids are fine. Eating? I think my son would mainline mac n cheese if he could and I'm sure his little school is shaking their head at what he brings. I will keep introducing healthy things and one day it will sink in. In the meantime, I'm not going to get gray hair over him eating toddler meals. And that cone head thing? After half an hour of stop and start pushing he needed a top hat. With age and mothering experience, I'm about as real as they come. :-) Happy SITS day pretty lady!

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  20. I agree about the mac & cheese, etc. I try to keep it real but sometimes it just doesn't happen. I think many of us are in the same place. Great blog! Love this post. Happy SITS day! :)

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  21. I really agree...my first two were on formula...this one? She will nurse for up to 18 months if she allows it. To each their own with no judgement:)

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  22. You have a lovely family, Brandy! ;)

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