When I was pregnant with Bebe I FREAKED out, and found myself on an "expecting club" run by iVillage, where I met other moms due the same time as I was. We gabbed and groaned about pregnancy pains and strange cravings, and delighted in first kicks and hiccups in utero. I was really, really glad to be "surrounded" by other women experiencing what I was.
Eight years later, there are still a handful of us (about 30) who still keep in touch. I also joined a similar group (but not through iVillage) when I was pregnant with Dois, and I have since joined a few messageboards related to specific parenting interests of my own (cloth diapering, car seat safety, etc.). What I'm trying to say, is I'm out there in the interwebz quite often, chatting it up with other moms.
But eight years later it still amazes me how one-upmanship reigns supreme. "My son's a black belt." "Oh yeah? Well MY daughter is joining the boys' football team." "Well, my child just won the fourth grade spelling bee (in second grade)." Bragging on occasion I tolerate, but this sort of stuff makes me roll my eyes.
And when the kids are too little to compare much about THEIR accomplishments, then the focus is entirely on mom. "Well, we babywear, and my child has only had organic clothes touching him, and I spray essential lavender oils in his room nightly so he sleeps for fifteen hours." "All our babyfood is homemade, and we don't believe in pacifiers, circumcision, or letting Uncle Al hold the baby."
God forbid a person bring up a concern about their child. It's actually humorous. A few months ago I posted about how DD was going through a whining phase. She still is, but we're managing... a few months ago it was TERRIBLE. Anyway, so I posted asking for help on getting her to stop. And the responses? "Ask her to stop." (Yeah, soooo helpful. Why didn't I think of that? Let me go do that now.) "We run a tight ship in our house. That would never be tolerated." (Gee, thanks, now could you give me some tips?) There were like 18 responses and only 2 were helpful!
I've brought up concerns about Dois and his behavior at times, too, only to be informed that their children NEVER behaved in such a manner. And if they did, a simple "no" would solve all the world's problems.
I try my best to be a good mom. But I'm a works-all-day-long-and-sends-my-kids-to-daycare mom. And I'm an I-need-to-eat-dinner-for-five-minutes-in-peace mom who will gladly plunk my kids in front of the TV just so I can. I'm a chore-list-is-too-long-for-me-to-do-much-during-the-week mom. I'm an I-try-my-best-but-not-living-up-to-my-full-potential mom.
Every now and then on a weeknight, I will do something cool with the kids like time at the park or art. But most of the time, it's just about survival mode. Do what I have to do to get the night over with.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I have a lot of faults when it comes to being a parent. I wish others would, too!