Julia Lipscombe: Parental pursuit of perfection requires judgment-free community support

My first mom column was published almost two years ago to this day.

Since then, I’ve gone from being an underslept, overwhelmed mother of a two-week-old, Indiana, to a slightly less underslept, slightly less overwhelmed mother of a two-year-old. The more things change…

Since then, I’ve watched as my stepsons, Chile and Tripp, aged eight and six at the time, have gone from loving, affectionate big brothers — unsure of how to hold our tiny baby — to 10- and eight-year-old boys who are capable, confident caregivers and companions.

Watching the three of them together is one of the greatest joys I’ll ever have.

This column has been an outlet to communicate my stresses, anxieties, guilts, fears and joys.

Everyone deserves such an outlet for the frustrations and wonders of parenting. That’s probably why we see so many mom blogs and Instagram accounts dedicated to raising kids; so many Facebook groups where moms can vent their frustrations and support one another.

Because, yes, it does get easier in some ways. But I’ve learned that motherhood doesn’t turn a magic corner when your kid is six months, or a year old, or two or — probably — 20. Parenting is a lifelong adventure. (Just ask your parents.)

What I’ve learned in two years is that new parents — particularly, though not always, new moms who often bear the brunt of the child-rearing — need communication, support and community.

And crucially, that community needs to come without judgment.

Women with young children are constantly being bombarded with impossibly high standards they’re expected to uphold. “What’s best for our kid” governs our day-to-day life. As it should — but to a degree.

Because if constantly trying to be the perfect parent is eating away at your happiness or self-esteem, it’s gone too far.

Who said that more than 20 minutes of screen time a day was going to ruin your child’s life? Who said that all of his meals had to be not only organic and nutritious but also homemade and prepared (with love) by you? Whose idea was it for us to have three apps on the go reminding us exactly which milestone they’re supposed to hit and when? Why are so many women terrified of popping a bottle into their infant’s mouth at mom group instead of a boob? Who said we have to potty train at this time or that?

Don’t get me wrong, screen-free lives are great, homemade food is

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Lifestyle


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