Sunday, September 29, 2013

To Tell the Truth

The only way to pass the "parenting test" is with heaps of humility, honesty,and humor.  

That's what I said when I first started this blog. This past month though, I haven't followed that rule very well. In all kinds of big and small ways, good news and sad, I've screened my true thoughts. For example, I had some really great news this month but felt a little weird every time I would share it, especially if I was talking to another parent.. The news was that my son made it to the next round of an intense scholarship interviewing process - yay! He went through a  gamut of interactive games, leadership tests, improv exercises and impromptu essay writing with about 100 other high school seniors. After the group interview was all done, they cut half of the applicants. Instead of being cut, my son got the email that told him he was invited for a one-on-one interview. The hoped for prize when all is said and done, is a four year scholarship for college. It's nerve wracking and exciting and I'm so incredibly proud and shocked at the ways he's putting himself out there in the world and it's all just swirling in my own little head. How do we celebrate and brag without making someone else feel like crap?

And there's plenty enough of those feeling like crap moments.  Worrying about why our kids are anxious, prone to wild temper tantrums, chronically constipated, or emotionally distant, fills the secret places of our thoughts. One layer below our concerns for our kids is the darker place where we assume that we've messed them up somehow. We look at the latest Facebook updates, where only good news seems to be shared, and wonder if we would have any friends at all if they knew our true thoughts and colossal mistakes. There are layers of parenting silence. We start by talking about our perfect, precious babies instead of the crazy anatomical reorienting that our body is going through after childbirth. The silence continues and hovers over the changes in our relationships.  We stay silent when things are bad, keeping the self-doubt, shame, and feelings of failure under wraps. Telling the hard truth though, is the key to releasing all that crap. If you want to test this and have a real catharsis or just a good-pee-in-your-pants laugh, you can unload your truth at Scary Mommy, a blog that also serves as a confessional for the real deal stuff of our lives.

Bragging is just fine. So is crying and screaming and fretting and laughing. Humility, humor, honesty. We can't possibly know it all. We can't take ourselves too seriously. We only get support for the things that people know about. Go to the "scary mommy confessional" and let it out.

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