Friday, January 25, 2013

Operating Instructions

The other day a pregnant friend told me she enjoyed reading me blog because it was real.  A very nice compliment I thought.  Because of my obsession of reading, I've devoured MANY parenting books, sleeping books, developmental books, etc.  Frankly, I haven't found one that I loved.  They are either too optimistic, or too hard to implement, or so far away from reality that no one can relate.  However, I think my search is over.  Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott is simply her journal about her son's first year of life.  Her circumstances were a bit different than mine.  She was a single mother at 35 and her son had some bouts with colic.  Nevertheless, she does an incredible job of documenting the intense love she has for her son while being completely honest of how hard the role of parenting is or can be.  In fact, one of my favorite parts is when she writes about suffering from sleep deprivation and fantasizes about putting the baby on the porch for the night to see if he could survive.  A natural selection experiment of sorts.  Obviously she did carry out this plan, but how refreshing to share in that moment of despair when you are thinking that if this whole parenting thing was meant to be, the baby would survive a night outside by himself.  

That is the whole thing about parenthood.  You are constantly trying to find that fine line between thinking your child is perfect and so smart and we are such a happy family, nothing can get us down versus I am Ashley Judd in the Ya Ya Sisterhood and I am driving in my convertible away from my four small children to have a psychotic break.  Some days it is truly amazing.  Your babies are listening to you, they are smiling and happy and give you the best hugs, even choking your neck a bit.  And some days you want to put them outside with the dog with a bowl of water and hope for the best in the morning. 

I hope you find that balance this weekend!  Happy Friday!


  1. When I became a mother almost 15 years ago, I was utterly amazed at how hard it was. I instantly loved my baby but i could not believe that no one seriously sat me down to let me know that it would be the hardest job ever. Yes, it is rewarding but it is hard.

    The early years were difficult physically (sleep deprivation is the devil) now I'm in the teenage years and it is a new set of challenges.

    I think that the thing that helped me the most, then and still now, was to have a couple of really good mom friends that were real about the challenges. The girls who say "I never yell at my kids" or "I would have 10 of them, it's so easy" are either liars or on something. The girls you can call when you've had it are the keepers!

  2. I love Anne Lamont's writing. Her son was born about 6 months before Jeff, and she would bring him on a local public radio show in the Bay area while she was doing her segment, and I felt like I knew a lot about her and her son without ever meeting them. I sort of lost track of her, but just recently read that her son now has a child of his own, and that he became a father as a teenager. I had forgotten the part about wanting to leave her son outside for the night, but I certainly can identify with that feeling!

  3. I nominated your for a liebster award. See my blog if you are interested


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