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November 22, 2016

Why I am not Obsessed with my Kid.

Courtney St Croix pic

I am not obsessed with my kid, and I think that’s okay.

You won’t catch me bragging for hours on end at a party, telling everyone what food she’s currently eating, or what size clothing she’s wearing, or what new trick she can do.

(Unless, you know, someone specifically asks me with profound excitement: “Ohmigosh, what words is Presley saying right now!?” My friends aren’t jerks okay…they are interested in me, ergo, they are interested in my kid, and they do ask questions about her! I will happily answer before moving on to other things.)

You won’t catch me stressing over the fact that she might not have had a “perfectly balanced” meal five times today. Or yesterday. Or that I desperately need to grocery shop, so today she might have two pouches of strained baby food and a handful of Cheerios for dinner.

I don’t swarm her while she plays in my (enclosed) family room space; I let her roam free and dig into random bins of (pre-inspected) toys as she sees fit. I don’t rush to her aid immediately every time she takes an inevitable spill—and because of that, when it happens, she now laughs and then continues on her merry way.

I let her cry it out when she wakes up in the middle of the night, and she almost always goes back to sleep.

(And yes, I am not such a terrible, self-absorbed mother that I don’t notice the difference between her varying cries. I go in when she needs me for realsies. Promise.)

I don’t let her have everything she wants, and I’m not afraid of her having a tantrum when I don’t let her have whatever (probably dangerous) object it is she’s set her sights on at the moment.

I thoroughly enjoy doing things without her, and make a point to get some priceless alone time each week while her dad is on duty.

I’m not worried about when she’ll walk. Or when she’ll say her first “real” word. Or if she knows baby sign language. Because, she’ll learn that sh*t when she’s good and ready. And really, baby sign language?

(Well, that’s rude I guess. Sorry mom friends, no judgement if you’ve taught your little one baby sign language. I just don’t really get it. And I don’t really care about trying it.)

Why don’t I give much of a crap about this?

Because, I am not a woman obsessed.

I love my kid as much as the next person, but I’m not so overwhelmed with love that my heart hurts when I’m away from her for a few hours. Or a day. Or overnight. I’m not glued to my phone checking in on the babysitter when I’m out for dinner with my husband.

And I’m not just a mom, you know.

My existence does not depend on my child, and there is a lot more to me than just being someone’s mom.

Becoming a mom is certainly one of, if not the, most rewarding things I’ve ever done with my life, but it’s not the only thing I am.

And, call me crazy, or weird, or a horrible mom, but I think it’s a good thing that I don’t smother and obsess over my child.

Why?

Because I really don’t think my own mom smothered and obsessed over me, and I am sure glad she didn’t. I’m independent, I enjoy being alone, I’m not afraid to speak up, I am a confident leader who doesn’t require much guidance, and I’m a good decision maker.

And I think I can attribute a lot of that to my parents. My mom was never the “braggy” type—not to others, anyway. She always let me know when I did a great job; she just didn’t become Braggy McBraggerson at the PTA meeting.

I think I should be thanking my mom (thanks, mom!) for not “helicopter-ing” me. She let me be myself; she observed me instead of making me think I needed someone else to be content; and she didn’t make me think I was something so incredibly special and unique and glorious and amazing that I didn’t have to work just as hard as anyone else to get where I wanted to go.

I want to raise a daughter who is independent, who has no problem being alone, who is confident and has leadership qualities, who can speak up for herself and who can make decisions.

I’m not saying that all this is going to be accomplished by my letting her “play by herself while I watch” …but I do think that not being obsessed about every single thing she does is doing her some good.

(She’s only a year old…so, I know—I have a lot of learning and parenting left to do before any good will comes of my alleged “best practices.” But I can only call ’em like I see ’em.)

So, yeah. I’m not obsessed with my kid. Judge me if you will, because I know that I don’t need to obsess over her, nor does it feel natural to me. I get a strong sense that I’m of a very small percentage who feels this way (or at least who will admit it), but it’s okay.

But don’t dare mistake “obsessed” for “loved.”

I love my kid to her very core.

But obsessed with her, I am not.

(And one more thing before you go: If you are “obsessed” with your kid, by the very vague and dimly lit definition that I’ve laid out here, that’s cool, too! This post is not meant to further perpetuate the #MomGuilt and judgement that we all experience, nor do I mean to tell you I’m judging you for being an obsessive mother. I just felt the need to justify my stance somewhere, somehow. You do you, and I’ll do me. And we’ll all support each other and be gal pals and drink wine vodka together. You drink wine, I’ll drink vodka. I don’t like wine. To each her own, right? I digress.)

*cough*

The end.

 

 

Author: Courtney St Croix

Images: Author’s Own

Editor: Travis May

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