Soapbox: Profile Photos

Social media has become a great way for those of us who live far away from family to keep those interested abreast of what is going on in our day to day worlds. It’s particularly great for those of us with kids, grandparents can see pictures whenever their little hearts desire, and FaceBook has provided me with a couple of neighborhood specific mom groups. Very helpful things.

Something I have noticed since having a kid and joining these mom groups is that quite a few parents, usually moms, make their children their profile photo. This really gets under my skin. This is your profile, not your child’s. If you’re going to post a profile photo with your child in it, make sure you’re in it too. It is easy enough for the world at large to write off women who are mothers as just being a mom, we don’t need to help them. Your profile photo should show me who you are, posting just your child as your profile photo tells me that you no longer think having an identity separate from your child is important. 

Post all the kid pictures you want, my FaceBook and Instagram are full of them, but let me see your face next to your name.

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18 Months

He’s 18 months old today. It’s a halfway that feels like a big deal. No longer baby, not yet boy, something wholly different. Walking, talking, tantrum throwing.

Things I have learned in the last 18 months:

  • I love him, more than I thought possible, though it took a while.
  • I love my husband more. The added dimension of fatherhood sits on him nicely.
  • Even though I don’t “work,” staying at home is hard. I will shrug off the guilt I feel when this thought hits me periodically.
  • Mondays still have the power to suck. I thought I would have left that behind with an office for some naive reason, but that’s not at all the case.
  • I am more than just mom, or just wife for that matter. 
  • It takes work to be more than just the previous. It is acceptable, indeed it is needed to put this work into myself.
  • When I feel like a whole person, I am a much happier wife and mother.

 

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Day’s End

Every day ends the same. Dinner as close to 6 as I am able to get it on the table, husband and I trade off giving little guy a bath, pjs, sleep sack, monkey, milk, and books on the couch as a family. Then it’s to bed with the wee man. 

Some days, I can’t wait for the end of the routine. To be able to sit down and turn off my constant vigilance. 

Today was one of those days. Tomorrow will be better. 

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New Baby

I had a baby. Fifteen months ago. I have a problem, I still think he’s a new baby. 

I realize that I’m long past being able to say “I just had a baby.” It continues to feel as though I just had a baby most days. He still doesn’t sleep through the night, he is still breast feeding, I’m still astounded that he’s mine. On the other hand, I know how to not react to him falling down immediately, I feel like I generally know when to call the doctor versus when to ride it out, I know what he really enjoys eating versus what is merely tolerated. I have figured out a few things about this parenting deal. 

What truly makes him continue to feel like a new baby is how different he is everyday. He starts making some new sound, or says a new word. He walks a little bit faster. He voices his opinion with an ear shattering squeal. Every day there is something new. 

Since he is my first, I have a feeling I will have just had this baby until I have another one. 

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Resolved

This day last year was spent cuddling an almost three month old baby and plastering one wall of our apartment with post it notes detailing the goals we thought we wanted to accomplish for the year. The only one we stuck to was to love our son, the most important thing on the wall. That is the only post it that survived the year, it’s still there, and will be until we move.

I felt bad about myself for not completing the goals on the wall, but have come to realize that the wall was a good exercise. It helped me realize that I’m all over the board when it comes to goal setting, and I see those goals as a concrete thing. If I don’t accomplish that goal, exactly as originally stated, I have somehow failed.

This year, the goals are to allow my goals to evolve with my life and limitations, and to be kinder to myself. I will work harder at not beating myself up when I have not gotten through my to do list for the day. I will remember to take a break, and pay a few bucks to the sitter, when I feel I’ve reached my limit. I will do everything I am capable of, and not bad talk myself for the things I can’t. I will not be shy in asking for help.

Happy New Year. Much is on the horizon, and while I can’t do it all, I will revel in all that I can.

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