Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Fog of Forgetting

There's a reason our memory starts to fade as we get older, it's so we can forget those difficult bits of child rearing. Remember shortly after childbirth when the nurses assured you that you'd forget the pain of labor and delivery? They were right, otherwise there would never be a second child.

I've seriously got to quit reading the mommy blogs. They're giving me a headache. I'm not trying to be rude or anything. At first I thought it would be cool to read and offer advice from the other side, so to speak. But I can't. It's very stressful jumping back in the land of carpools, soccer games and homework, if only through the words of others.

Reading their stuff just brings back things I'd rather forget. That's the beauty of being on the other side. You can put the three P's (pee, poop, puke) behind you, unless of course you're caring for elderly parents, then all bets are off. You can focus on the high points of their childhood and not the two year stretch where your husband was in Canada from Monday to Friday. Those were the years you reverted to speaking like a three-year-old and lost millions of brain cells.

When I first started this blog I sat down and wrote a mission statement because the Farmer has always drummed it in my head that before you launch on any serious endeavor you need to put your intentions down in writing. Having a mission statement helps you stay focused and remember why you started in the first place. Mine read "To create a multi-generational community of women who can share their knowledge and experience for the benefit of all." Sounds good, but the problem is I don't see a lot of multi-generational mingling going on across the board. Is it possible?

Where are the teen mom blogs? In all of my web surfing I've never seen one. I think they're simply shell shocked and like Maria Shriver, they sit in their closets and meditate. Perhaps they just can't get on their computers because their teenagers are tying it up doing homework or playing computer games.

I did offer some advice on one or two of the mommy blogs and it didn't go over very well. Perhaps they feel some of us are too far removed from the experience to know what's happening in today's world of parenting. I'm trying to remember if I was open to advice from someone who'd been through it, or did I rely on my contemporaries who were going through the same things in real time?

That's the thing though. The fog of forgetting has done it's job.

I can't remember.


Marie Reed said...

Here is an tylenol for your mommy blog headache! That's just plain silly that someone reacted badly to advice. You can't ever ruffle my feathers! Everyone thinks differently. That's what makes communication worthwhile and fun!

lifeinredshoes said...

I never forgot the pain of labor.Even today, 27 years after #1 was born, if I really concentrate I can conjure up a good one!I know one thing, I have no advice to pass along. After years of therapy with #2, I guess I didn't know a damn thing!

Abbie said...

Aaahh.. the fog. I am eagerly awaiting the day that the fog settles in and I can move away from binkies, bottles and blankies to more adult endeavours. Aaahh.. to go to a movie in the middle of the week and not have to feed four mouths first, baths, PJ's and sitter notes. Aaaahhh.. those will be the good ol' days.
;) Abbie
Or... are the good ol' days right now?


Tag, you're it!

Lucy said...

While I do read some of the mommy blogs, I do not yearn for those days. And I DO remember pregnancy and delivery. It's probably why I only had two. I am having a great time now doing whatever I want but mostly seeing grandchildren. They are better than the real thing. :)

Arlene said...

Call me crazy but I have come to think that those of you in the middle of the fuss and stress of child rearing ARE in the middle of the 'good ole days'. I am far beyond it and I guess the fog is doing its job, 'cause I miss my babies ... adolescents ... teens. I've a grandson but he lives 2,000 miles away so not much hugging going on there! Hang in there everyone!

GemStateMom said...

In some ways I sorta miss the early childhood years....mind-numbing exhaustion, yes, but over all things were fairly simple and life centered more around home. Juggling activities/schedules along with the complexities of teens and the situations faced leave me reeling and numb in a different way - a "I don't know what to do" way.
When they were little, you knew what to do to fix things, even if it was done on autopilot. Now, not so much.

I think that 'fog' is God's tender mercy on mothers. Do we really want an accurate reckoning of all the 3 P's encountered on a day-to-day basis?
Some things are better left shrouded in the mists of memory lapse!

susan said...

Loved this post! Our nest is almost empty and we have 2 grandaughters with one on the way. I enjoy reading some mommy blogs and the memories they invokes, but I love where I am in life now. I loved my life then, too, don't get me wrong! I mainly wonder how they have time to homeschool and keep up a blog. Guess they are more organized than I was. Keep up the good work! I am also a farmers wife down the state from you. Sounds like you have way better shopping than we do!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Brave gal to say the things that only pass through my mind in fleeting seconds. I have a mommy blog that I adore on my blogroll...adore it...rarely. Just can't take the day to day stuff, but love popping in from time to time. I put it there so I could empathize with my son and daughter-in-law. Sometimes it works. Sometimes a post rings so true that I call them and say, "read this." That never goes over so well. Guess that they've got enough reading material without my sending along a blog. Nope, I'm much more content hanging with my own kind. LOL!

In Canada from Monday through Friday? Yuck.

Suzanne said...

Marie - Thanks for the Tylenol. I agree, communication is a good thing!

Red Shoes - Here, take one of Marie's Tylenol's. And I've got some "forgetful" pills that you can take for those labor pain memories. Ah yes, therapy. Hmmm, I have lots to say about that. Another day perhaps.

Abbie - ABBIE - There's my favorite young mom. The good old days are right now...well, some of what you're going through will be remembered as good. Some of it is best forgotten. The constant pressure of being "needed" by everyone is best forgotten though. Everyone, meet Abbie. She's a terrific mom, someone that I admire greatly.

Liberty Post Editor - Dang, I'm it..Got it.

Lucy - You know, part of my problem as a young mom was that I had built motherhood up into some terrific, exciting, tremendous thing in my mind. I had a big crash when I realized it was alot of hard, thankless work which required me to give of myself at a level that soon left me depleted. I wasn't wise enough to draw the lines. More about that later.

Arlene - Although I don't miss the drudgery part of being a mom, I sorely miss having someone to nurture. I'm oozing with nurturing stuff and no grandkids to share it with. Yet.

Paula - I agree. I love your term "shrouded in the mist of memory lapse." You sure know how to turn a phrase. When my kids were small an older mom told me, "Small kids, small problems. Bigger kids, bigger problems". I didn't listen so the teenage years came as a big surprise to me.

Susan - I'm with you....I ain't going back. Where are you downstate? My daughter is in Bloomington. We aren't really farmers. It's a long story. The Farmer is the General Manager for one of the country's largest organic herb operations, so I guess we could stretch it and say he farms. We live in a rural farming community and I chose the name "The Farmer's Wife" for my photoblog of local images. It seemed to describe the subject matter in three words or less. Shopping? It's crazy. I say this is the only place on the planet where you have a farm feed and supply store within 3 miles of a Coach handbag store. Crazy!!!

Vee- Speaking of crazy, I'm not brave, just crazy. Besides I overdosed on free association during my years in therapy. HA. I know what you mean about advice going over like a lead balloon. With my kids I basically don't offer unless I'm asked. Sigh. And yes, those years he was in Canada were really terrible.

Marue said...

I think there's lots of ladies with teens who blog, they just don't blog about their teens too much. Too risky. We've got other things to mull over. Finally.

C.C. said...

Howdy, Stranger! I guess you can put me on your crappy commenter list...sigh. I'm the parent of an older teen (almost 19). I find that I don't write too much about him...probably because he's hardly ever home, plus I feel like that would be crossing a privacy line somehow. The seven year his stories are fair game! I loooove your new look! Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog...that made me feel much better...thank you.

smiles4u said...

I understand what your saying when you talk about the fog of easy it can be to forget all the dirty work of raising young children. I have 5 children and 1 step daughter and my youngest just graduated from high school.

How easy it was to forget all the work it takes to raise these little ones up to adulthood...until one and a half years ago when we started raising our two grandchildren. It has been an awakening to say the least. Yes, it is stressful jumping back into the three P's. I am now remembering all the things I had forgotten...bottom line it's a lot of work. No, this is not how I planned to spend this time in my life. But, it is what we have chosen to do and we love our two little ones more every day.

It's hard because I don't necessarily fit in with any certain group of people. Most people raising children the ages of our little ones are young and most people my age don't have young ones anymore.

It's too bad that the advice you offered on the mommy blogs wasn't received very well. I am sure you have a lot of wisdom that would be valuable to newer moms, so I hope you don't give it up! I know, I for one, am always looking to learn from other people.

Cindy La Ferle said...

I love your blog, and glad to have met you on 50-something Moms. You're right -- not many mothers blog about parenting older kids or young adults. Mine just graduated from college, and I find myself writing a lot about the pending empty nest. Very good therapy, and I wish there were a community of more of us.
Thanks for your posts!

Rue said...

They think we're too far removed.

My mom and I have this issue with my brother's wife. She keeps telling us all these things that she will be doing with their new baby and my mom or I will roll our eyes around in our heads because we know the outcome. Does she listen to our advice? No.

My mother. in her oh-so-charming way, says things like they didn't have all this stuff when they were coming across the USA in their covered wagons and we survived. Then the sister-in-law gives her the stink eye.

Don't waste your time trying to give advice. They already know everything, kinda like a teenager LOL

Oh and yes, I am hiding from my teenager and my tween ;)


Suzanne said...

Marue - YES - time to finally take a breath.

C.C. I think you can share the Crappy Commenter position with Pam Kitty. She's doing an excellent job lately. I agree about the privacy thing. My kids would have been mortified if I'd shared anything about their teen years. And thanks, I'm glad you like the new blog frock. Shannon did such a great job interpreting my vision. Oh my, she was patient.

Smiles4U - Omigosh, I just went and poked around your blog. You are certainly energetic and good for you for taking on yet another generation. I'm afraid I don't have the energy anymore.

Cindy - The empty nest is quite problematic for me. I'm not dealing very well with it. Although the nest is not quite empty yet.

Oh Rue - That is so true. I've tried to give advice to some of the younger women in my life and they look at me like I have three heads!!! Heck, I get enough of that from my own kids. It's a very good idea to hide from those teens and tweens...I was never very good at it because they always found me.