My vision of parenting used to be dotted with romance, whimsy, and endless cherish-worthy moments.
Then I had kids.
I love my children. Of course I love them. Sometimes I even dote on them and marvel at all the wondrous things they do. And I (mostly) enjoy being their parent. I cherish them as persons. But I do not cherish every moment I spend parenting them. I do not relish every second I have with them. I do not count my noise-infested, vomit-covered, sleep-depriving, mind-melting experiences as treasures.
And why should anyone expect me to?
The myth that parents should “savor every second” of their days with their children is an impossible standard. An inhuman request.
Instead, I cherish every other moment with my children. I wish away some moments, and I hold fast to others with all of the sentimental sappiness I can muster.
Like the human (all too human) parent that I am, I do what I can.
I savor in small doses.
About the author (who is not nearly as grumpy as she might sound):
Kristen Oganowski is a writer, adjunct professor, and feminist mother of three young boys. She was once a doula who wrote a mildly popular pregnancy, birth, and parenting blog (Birthing Beautiful Ideas). Before that, she worked on (and eventually earned) a PhD in Philosophy. And before that, she played guitar in garage-rock-power-punk band in grungy southern Ohio bars.
She lives in Columbus, Ohio. She has a giant vegetable garden in her front yard and a giant mess in her living room. Sometimes she ignores her kids so that she can write blog posts. She thinks that it makes her a better person. Often, it even makes her a better mother.
image credit: Erika Ray Photography
My writing has appeared in a variety of online and print publications. You can find a sample of my work here:
I Yell at My Kids–And I’m OK With That (Good Housekeeping, 2015)
How the Internet Has Changed the Birds and the Bees Talk (The Mid, 2015)
Please Hush, Little Baby (Washington Post, 2015)
A Definitive List of What Makes a Good Mom (Mom.me, 2015)
It’s Over: Never-Again Parenting Moments (Mom.me, 2015)
The Way it’s Supposed to Be (Seleni Institute, 2014)
The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality (edited by Avital Norman Nathman, Seal Press, 2014)
Extraordinary Prenatal Care (BlogHer Syndicated, 2011)
Elective Cesarean vs. Spontaneous Labor (Mother’s Advocate, 2011)
A Woman’s Guide to VBAC: Navigating the NIH Consensus Development Recommendations (Lamaze International, Giving Birth with Confidence, 2010)