The concept of the Smug List and Crap list is that every mother has an internal list in her head, where she judges herself on what she feels she has done well as a mother, and what she feels guilty about.
I was so impressed with Mia's honesty throughout her book, but especially in regards to this. It's really our most vunerable self, admitting what we feel we have failed at within motherhood. I wish more women would be brave enough to admit they feel insecure, and maybe even guilty, over certain aspects of their parenting, instead of engaging in Competitive Mothering and trying to out-do each other with their perfect babies who only eat organic, home-made meals, sleep all night and have learned baby-signing by 3 weeks of age. We should be REAL, talk about the things we are having trouble with, and instead of feeling shamed or inadequate, be supported and encouraged within the tribe.
So in the spirit of bravery and sharing Mia has inspired, here is my Smug / Crap List.
I feel Smug about... you know, I don't like the word smug, I'm going to call it Proud... I feel Proud that:
- I am an engaged Mum, often found sitting on floor, deeply entrenched in whatever game GG and I have cooked up.
- GG has lovely manners, is bright, funny, cheeky, charming and happy (mostly). I'm choosing to take credit for this.
- I breastfed GG for 10 months, through inverted nipples, intense pain, cracked and bleeding nipples the whole 10 months and 3 bouts of mastitis.
- I home-made GG's food with organic vegies for the first year of her life. She still has mainly home-made, nutritious food, with the occasional McDonalds fries or sweet treat to keep life interesting.
- I am imaginative and playful, making up silly songs, stories and games to play with GG (or get her to brush her teeth).
- We moved back to the Gold Coast mainly for GG, so she could grow up in a big, close, loving family, with lots of access to her grandparents, aunts and cousins. The fact that we love it here is a bonus.
- GG is very helpful, something I have developed and encouraged, even though it meant taking 45 mins to empty a dishwasher, endless re-folding of laundry GG has 'helped' me put away and entire mornings spent hanging out one load of laundry. It's paying off nicely now though :o)
- I am patient (mostly)(with GG, not other members of humanity), and it actually takes a fair bit for me to get cranky or yell at GG.
- I have encouraged GG to have a love of reading and books, like every woman in my family.
I feel Crap that:
- I allowed myself to be scared into a caesarian I now think I probably didn't need. I still feel like I never really 'earned my stripes' by having a 'proper labour'. Actually, I've never experienced labour and I feel like I've missed out on something.
- Despite several attempts and short-lived successes, GG is a terrible sleeper, and she has taken to coming into our bed again, and I am too tired and disheartened to stop her.
- Despite promising when I started blogging that I would only do it when GG was asleep, I now blog when she is awake and we could be playing together. I actually keep an old laptop under the TV cabinet for GG to play on, whilst I play on my computer.
- I wish I listened to my instinct more and refused to believe that GG's screaming as a baby was 'just colic', even when the Doctors told me so. I feel bad that she was 6 months old when she was finally diagnosed with a wheat intolerance, all that pain needlessly inflicted on her.
- There are days when GG has had cereal for dinner.
- I (like Mia) actually like that GG has a tan. I think she looks so cute and outdoorsy and Aussie with it. Others will point out the potential skin damage.
- I pretty much constantly have the TV on in the background. GG doesn't watch a whole lot now, but I'm betting she'll be a TV addict too when she grows up.
- Even though I know she has an awesome time, and is gaining great knowledge there, I still feel awful whenever GG cries when I leave her at kindy.