Monday, November 16, 2009

Mom's Life According to Redbook

Ever notice how the best parents aren't parents? The ones that have all the answers and know the best way to do things never seem to have real life experience, just theories and ideas of how it should be based on their research? Beliefs? Ideals?

Sometimes I read articles about parenting and I wonder if they are written by parents? Because sometimes the advice just seems, well like it was created in the vacuum of a lovely life without kids. Because while it may all sound great, life doesn't always work itself into a nice little two page magazine article. But maybe that's just because me and my kids don't have the nice tidy life or discipline that those writers have. Or maybe they're compulsive liars and their house is a mess, they are frazzled and have no time to themselves and they write about perfection to boost them up, I'll go with that because that I get!

I recently got a subscription to Redbook and I generally find the magazine an enjoyable read. However this one section, Moms Life, seems to regurgitate endless "facts" to help makes mom's life easier. For the most part they feature the same thing that is said over and over again, moms need a break, how to organize your schedule, home, disciple, etc. However some of them are as laughable as the one where they spouses should touch base once a year.

For example, September's issue featured ways to “give yourself a break” so you can have more me time which will make you a better parent. While I agree with the concept, many of their suggestions made me laugh!

1) Show them how it's done

The first step to teaching your child to be okay with being alone is showing him how fun it can be”. The only problem with that is being alone for me is only fun if I am actually alone, it's not a spectator sport. The article gives lots of tips on ho to wean them from your side, it starts as babies. Seriously. Take the time and effort to teach your child to play on his own. Monkey is great at it. Peanut not so much...but I didn't take the time with her like I did with him, I didn't have it!

2) Create a kids space

Great idea! I couldn't agree more. It will look great and all the other kids that come to our house for playdates will love it! Your children however will only want to be wherever you are, preferably on top of you. They will not want to play in the beautiful kids space you created. The most time they spend in there will be to pull stuff out to bring to whatever room in the house you are in.That is if they play with the toys at all. My kids would much rather play with whatever adult thing I am trying to work on or with. Pens, junk mail, laundry, garbage. As long as its not a toy it's interesting.

3) Surrender
to sloppy

Done, done and done! Although it doesn't give me more time!

October's issue had such gems as, let siblings fight it out to learn to how to get along together and make sure to get the kids to help clean up.

I think this may be why I cancelled all my parenting magazine subscriptions. I worry and second guess myself all the time, I'm surrounded online and in real life by books, people, things telling me how to do it better, smarter, faster. I have learned that doing whats best for us and our family is the best way to make this moms life better. So for now I'll keep the Redbook, but skip the Mom's Life advice.

* Disclosure: as usual I was not endorsed by anyone to write this. The subscription was not a free gift and the links and image are provided through Amazon Associates.


Gretchen said...

Oh ho ho... create a kids space... let's see, NOT on the top of my list of things to do would be "decorate a space just for a child to destroy with permanent markers, toys being thrown, and empty my wallet in the process." I'd much rather... you know... pay the electricity bill.

And, surrender to sloppy? Sounds great, until your kid starts whining because they can't play with ANY toys because a crucial part is missing. Of course, that crucial part is lost somewhere in the "sloppy". And they have a meltdown until WE find it because God forbid they actually pick up a dirty sock while looking. Or bend over to look under a bed. Just can't. be. done.

Helene said...

This is such a great post! And so true! I read my parenting magazines and instead of walking away feeling empowered and more confident, I find myself second guessing every parenting decision I have made that week, plus beating myself up for not thinking of some of those same ideas myself.