I think I need a break from reading parenting-related blogs and the anonymous questions list at work. I suppose that's inevitable since I've been reading these things since I got pregnant with T in early 2009.
At first it was nice to get the facts and information I was craving - things I didn't even know I needed about nursing, baby sleep, etc. And then it was nice to see that not everyone just automagically knows what they're doing when they give birth to a baby - it's a learning curve, and often a steep, sleep-deprived one.
But as of late, I'm finding that there's a definite bias towards the negative in what I'm reading. Maybe people don't write about the good times, and only feel motivated to write when they need support. But I also think the pendulum has swung so far to the other side of people not wanting to sound all "puppies and rainbows" about parenting, that sometimes it feels like all I read about is how HARD it is and how the days are long, and how it's not very fulfilling.
This post on AskMoxie is the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I know her site has long been a refuge for people (including myself) about the "real truth" in parenting, but the more I've been reading the comments lately, the more it just brings me down. She poses a fascinating question for people to answer - how people have changed since becoming parents. It's something I think about a lot.
Reading response after response in the comments about how people don't feel like they're measuring up to their parenting goals, or how they are unfulfilled by the "job" of parenting, made me not want to comment. I'm not invalidating others' experiences, but definitely reading that many negatives really depressed me.
And again, maybe it's that I'm not hanging out in the right corners of the Internet. I think people use the Internet to rant, because they can be anonymous, so it's likely biased towards the stuff you wouldn't tell your best friend or your partner.
But when I think of how I've changed since becoming a mother, it IS puppies and rainbows. My life is filled with a joy I had never imagined. I wasn't a little girl who dreamed of being a mommy someday. I was perfectly happy to accept a life without kids (and it sure looked like it was headed that way.) I'm selfish about my time and my sleep.
Even the day to day is overall good. Sure, there was the horrendous day at 12 weeks when T wouldn't stop crying or nursing and I wondered just what exactly we had gotten ourselves into. But most of the crappy things are blurry in my big picture. We have WAY more good days than bad ones, even with the delightfulness of 2.5.
If the money tree grew in our backyard, I'd quit my job in a heartbeat and hang out with my little family. This has brought purpose to my life far more than my career ever did (and I genuinely LIKE my job.)
Maybe that's true for everyone (or a lot of people), but sometimes it feels like there's no place for that kind of joy on the Internet. People think you're lying, or sugarcoating, or my favorite, "being judgmental", like the negative side is a more valid experience.
I find Facebook to be a lot more realistic, maybe because these are real people that I know, and they're sharing both the good and the bad. The fact that someone else's 2yo is potty trained and they're happy about it, doesn't come across to me as judgmental that mine isn't. All I think is "hooray!" for those friends and their diaper-free existence.
And of course, there's real life, where I get to hear both the good and the bad from friends directly, which gives me a more balanced picture. It was delightful to hear a friend telling me about a perfect evening she had with their (fairly new) family of 4. And it's not that I don't want to hear the hard parts - I do want to be forewarned and also want to be a good friend. But in real life, I get both sides of the story, not just an endless stream of "this sucks".
So yeah, a break from the mommyblogs and anonymous questions is in order. Is it just me or do you notice this too?