Friday, June 1, 2012

Drying my hair in the dining room.

See me right down there in that picture?  Drying my hair in the bathroom?

I hardly ever dry my hair in the bathroom.  I usually only dry it in there on the weekends when I'm not drying my hair until after 9:00 a.m. or in the summers when I'm not working and I don't finish getting ready until after Georgia is awake.  But generally......I dry my hair in front of the mirror in the dining room.  Georgia's bedroom shares a wall with the bathroom......a very thin, poorly insulated wall......and if you're drying your hair in the bathroom while she's still asleep it's only moments before she's awake--even if it's an hour before she really should be awake.

And it's no big deal, drying my hair in the dining room.  Unless hair all over the dining room table is an issue for you.  I've gotten used to it, however.

But yesterday--I dried my hair in the bathroom before work because Georgia is staying with my parents for a few days.  We'd originally scheduled her to be there because we were going to get the whole upstairs painted; I've had various shades of gray paint hanging all over my walls for two months now.  In the end though, it's not getting painted this weekend because I still can't officially decide between Shark Fin or Chintz.  I'm leaning towards the former--but who cares?

My mom said, "She's still coming to our house.  We haven't had her since November.  She's coming."  Not one to deny my mom Georgia time, I let her go.  But it's really hard for me.  It's really hard for me to dry my hair in the bathroom because it means Georgia isn't home right now........where she's supposed to be.

Don't get me wrong--she's in a great place.  A place where she gets to tromp through woods, play in the fairy garden my mom made, do crazy art projects, hang out with the little girl next door who thinks Georgia is the bees knees, eat candy for breakfast, take naps with Gaga, go on shadow walks, get a real manicure at my moms nail place, and splash in the fountain on the deck--it's paradise for her.  But it's hard for me--and she cried too when I told her she was going for two nights.

It's hard for me because one of the things I've learned about myself as a mom is that I want my kid under the same roof as me every night.  In the end, I know that's not always possible, obviously.  Stuff comes up, life gets crazy, you go away with girlfriends for a couple of nights, grand-parents get pushy, it's necessary to get away with the husband {alone} sometimes, and maybe you think you're going to paint your living room.  But mostly, Chris and I do whatever we can to keep Georgia here and only send her away for very good reasons.

I felt bad about this for a while.  Like I was being over-protective.  Like maybe I was sheltering her.  Like I was depriving her of some opportunity--of which I really can't put my finger on--but I felt like maybe I was.  I felt like people were judging me and thinking all of the above. And then, I decided to tell myself, "Stop it. She's yours.  If you feel like it's what's right for you and your family and no one is getting harmed in the process, it's fine.  You should do it."

So I do.

Today I had a woman tell me that she was hesitant to ever tell anyone what time her one year old went to bed......because it's midnight.  But her husband works second shift and feels like he never gets to see their daughter if she's in bed before he gets home.  But she sleeps in, way later than most kids, and takes long naps............and she gets to see her daddy.  But this woman told me she always feels judged by other moms when she tells them this.  I asked her if this arrangement was working for her family?  Was her daughter healthy?  Happy?  Growing?  The answers were all yes.  Then who cares I said.  Not all families can work the same way.  You have to do what is best for your family.

I know moms who won't let their kids have solid food until six months and others who do it at four months, I know moms who use cloth diapers, and those who don't.  Moms who co-sleep, moms who put their babies in a crib in their room the first night home from the hospital, cry-it out moms, non-cry-it-out moms, moms who let their kids drink some juice and eat some candy and those that don't.  I've met people who make their own baby food and those that load up their grocery cart with little glass jars of Gerber, people who are rigid about keeping their child on a schedule and those who approach life with more of a come-what-may attitude.

And in the midst of all of these varying practices are judgements.  Other moms that think it's terrible that so and so's child drinks Capri Sun, eats a bag of M & M's, never had a drop of breast milk, had too much breast milk, doesn't sleep in the right kind of bed, wears shirts with skulls on them (and what kind of child should be sporting a skull?), jumps on the bed, goes to day-care, doesn't go to day-care, is home-schooled, isn't home-schooled, eats peanut butter before they are two years old, gets vaccinations, doesn't get vaccinations, still uses a pacifier, needs to go to sleep to music, and it literally never ends.

And this is what I've come to believe about all of it.

Who cares?
Who really cares?
And if you do, why?

If you care because you think someones child is in danger of physical harm, real-true emotional harm, isn't thriving, or seems absolutely miserable (and you really can't use this one as a very good barometer if the child is between the ages of two to eighteen) than sure--care away.  But otherwise--move on and realize you're the one with the problem.

I'm guilty.  I have judged quietly and sometimes not-so-quietly about random child-rearing choices others make, but what I've decided in the last few months is that I was wrong.  Wrong.  It doesn't matter, and there are choices that I made early on in parenting that I would probably do differently if I had to do it again and I'm sure I'll think that over and over through-out the rest of my child-rearing days.

So as moms.......let's vow to move on.
And I'll keep drying my hair at the dining room table.


  1. I hear ya! I’ve been getting a lot of very strong opinions on how we should go about bonding with our child once we bring him or her home. I stressed about it for a bit, because much of the advice didn’t resonate with me, but then I realized we just need to do what’s right for US. We’re in the process of adopting domestically ( I just recently found your blog and love it—thanks!

    1. Yeah for you! I get so excited about adoptions--domestic ones especially! It's amazing how many opinions there are about how you handle your adoption too--and so often from people who have never gone through it! But your perspective is right on--if it feels right in your gut--it's what you have to do.

  2. Awesome post Maggie! Just had to tell ya, my bathroom is painted "shark fin" and I LOVE it! ( although it is much more blue than grey... Which I couldn't totally tell till it was up)

    1. Oh no! That is the one I was leaning towards. Gray is so hard--they all end up looking like blue or lavender! Thanks for the heads up.

    2. Benjamin Moore--Thunder is a really nice gray. I used it on the ceiling of my new nursery (nursery-in-waiting).

  3. Funny I've had a post brewing in my drafts almost just like this! Loved it!

  4. Well said Maggie!! A good reminder to everyone!

  5. I had a woman at Gap say, "Seriously, why are there so many skulls on the boys clothing? I thought this was a respectable place to shop." And she left to go to Gymboree! I didn't have any idea what to say!

    1. Ha! Too good. We're all so stressed out.......about the stuff that doesn't really matter.


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