Next Order of Parenting Business: Grow a Backbone
by Karla ° Tuesday, February 5, 2008
So, WOW. I totally didn’t expect such an overwhelming response to my kid getting booted out of daycare. Thank you so much for your super duper awesome feedback.

Honestly? I was expecting at least someone to tell me that I must be overlooking something, and that the only logical conclusion here is that I am breeding a monster with inexcusable behaviour. I feel much better now after reading your responses. And looking back on the situation, I can’t believe I just sat there, questioning my parenting abilities, while the daycare provider berated my son and then proceeded to sing praise about how gifted her (now grown up) son is. God, I really need to grow myself a backbone don’t I?

You know what my biggest fault is, I think? Two things actually: I worry too much about other people’s feelings and I have too much self-doubt. The former has just been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember, and although I don’t think being nice has ever hindered me, it has limited my ability to stand up for myself. But you know, I think there is something to be said about taking the high road over lashing out. But the latter? Not like me at all.

Is the constant fluctuating between feeling firm in your convictions one minute, and then taking a sudden nose-dive dip of uncertainty the next just par for the course of motherhood? Does it ever go away, or is parenthood a perpetual shuffle of second-guessing yourself and then second-guessing yourself some more?

In any case, I’m quickly learning that there is no such thing as black or white when it comes to parenting, and that the gray matter in between is expansive and subjective and more often than not, there is no right answer to be found, just different approaches.

Navigating the vast andromeda of motherhood would be so much easier if all of this gray matter would just get out of my way though.

I’m just saying.

Oh, and you’ll never guess who finally got his haircut last weekend.

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I think the uncertainty stays forever. I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old, and I still question myself. I feel pretty confident most of the time, but there are days that I think I just don't know what I am doing.

I hope you find a better fit for Nate with the next daycare you try. Just to make you feel better, My son did not walk until the end of his 13th month.

I see a little man did NOT like that haircut much. He is just too cute Karla!
Posted by Blogger Deborah :  February 05, 2008

I'm with the many other wonderful ladies, it's probably better to find a place that Nate will fit in better and will work more for him. I didn't think he could get any cuter but somehow in the after hair cut photo he has. SO CUTE.
Posted by Blogger Brandy :  February 05, 2008

Oh the welled-up tears! It makes my heart ache for the kiddo. With regards to the uncertainty, I repeat my own personal mantra: I am the parent, I make the decisions. It is my prerogative to change my stance on any given subject at any given time and feel no remorse or moment of hypocrasy. It is my duty to be my child's advocate and as long as I am acting in that manner, I will never apologize. I might say I'm sorry for being an ass on occassion, but never for standing up for my kid. Once again, hang in there. So far I haven't encountered anything so gut-wrenching as leaving my baby at childcare.

Oh that picture is heart-wrenchingly cute and a little funny. The drama! Like, what are you letting them DO to me, Mama?!?!? Love it.
Posted by Blogger Jen & Co. :  February 05, 2008

I just want to kiss his little cheeks and give him a hug..


Nicki in NC

PS - Self doubt never ends as a mother!
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  February 05, 2008

I'm the same as you in my need to grow a backbone. It's easy to tell someone else what they should have said after the situation, not so much when you're in it.

I think I appear more confident than I really am. I'm a big ball fo self doubt to. If you ever figure out how to get over that, please let me know. Part of me thinks it's sort of a good thing because I hate cocky people who think they have all the answers. See, self doubt on whether or not I should doubt myself.
Posted by Blogger Julia :  February 05, 2008

His cuteness is too much! I want to eat him up.

As for becoming more confident in your parenting, uh, hate to break it to you sister but I still second guess my parenting and all my children are now adults!
Posted by Blogger Linda :  February 05, 2008

Aww! That haircut pic is just too cute- poor little dude!
Also, um, I have the same problem you do but I'm not a parent (am a wife, though). I DEFINITELY do not know how or when to appropriately defend myself. I would much rather skip out on conflict than argue with someone even if they're being a jerk. Also, it takes very little for me to be plunged into self-doubt and wonder if something was all my fault (which usually, it wasn't) and I over-think things to death. Sigh. I guess I need to grow a backbone, too... Can someone please tell us how?
Posted by Blogger Liana :  February 05, 2008

Oh, weepy bunchkin!

I've been discovering that the my ability to let others make me doubt has not gone away over the years, but my ability to bounce back to reality has gotten much stronger and better over time. Also, I have accepted that, at least in my culture, I have the relentless task of constantly advocating for my kids, espcially as they go through "the system" of school. That tasks grows as they get into bigger schools for longer hours with the stakes higher.
Poor Nate -oh, the tears.
Posted by Blogger Karen :  February 05, 2008

The picture makes my heart ache! Was he really crying over getting his hair cut?! I'm surprised you managed to go through with it, given how little you wanted to do it yourself! I think I would've thrown the scissors at my husband and told him if he wanted to do it, he should do it himself. Haha! Having said that - a very handsome haircut.

Don't you think the uncertainty is partly a woman thing, too? I think guys are a lot more apt to be sure of themselves, even when they're changing their minds!
Posted by Anonymous Fawn :  February 05, 2008

Karla, I must say that I was totally distracted by the pictures of Nate on the side. I was reading along and spotted the picture out of the corner of my eye...what's that?? Nate got a haircut?? I totally had to go check out the pictures and come back to the post...LOL!! He looks super adorable! I did the same thing when I got Lucas hair cut--just a trim. Each time after that, I was able to go a little shorter.

That's the thing...even if you think you've got it all figured out, baby number 2 comes along and you have to start from scratch. It amazes me how different my boys are. I even have to parent them differently because they respond to different things. Motherhood is certainly not an easy job!
Posted by Blogger Candi :  February 05, 2008


You always seem to make the sun peek through those gray clouds. I feel just the same as you. I totally need a backbone. I feel like I am the definition of sensitive and I have the hardest time ever sticking up for myself. I would love to think that perhaps someday I won't second guess myself but I doubt that will ever completely happen. If it means anything, I think you sound like an AMAZING mother. Nate's haircut is darling. Boston cries so much, that now we just buzz it super short. I hate it, but I can't take the tears and the thrashing of his body over it!

Could Mark look any more freaky than he does in that top picture? No, he's not trying to fake a smile or anything!
Posted by Blogger Christi :  February 05, 2008

he is so cuteeeee:)....dont worry you doing a great job....:)
Posted by Anonymous pooja :  February 06, 2008

I *love* that photo!

Tragic, yet ADORABLE!!
Posted by Blogger Angella :  February 06, 2008

u guys are great parents no matter what that dumb ass lady says!! I'll go run her over with my chair.....just tell me when and I'll do it!!
Posted by Blogger rachael :  February 06, 2008

Oh man Nate look SO upset! Boo Hoo! He looks cute, hair cut or not, he is a cutey!
Posted by Blogger Kaili :  February 06, 2008

For me, it seems that whenever I start feeling really good about my parenting, something happens and I think, oh shit, I suck.
Posted by Blogger Gina :  February 07, 2008


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