Friday Morning Musings: A Meta-Blog Post In Two Parts, With Milch & Schokolade On The Side

by Becky on March 15, 2013 · 7 comments

in Meta Blog, Parenting

The Eleven O’Clock Dad grabbed Goose a minute ago, and they went to get haircuts and pick me up some of my favorite Greek yogurt.  Miss Lavender and Miss Zinnia took off for the library maybe an hour ago.  I am alone in my flat, a rare occurrence and an excuse to break out some of the chocolate I have “hidden” in my closet.  (The quotation marks indicate my certain knowledge that everyone knows where my stash is.)  I confess I am rather comfy at the moment in a long-sleeved Volcom pullover that once belonged to El Surfeador and a well-worn pair of men’s pajama bottoms.  I have cranked the heater–a strange-looking contraption of European origin that pumps out the most fabulously warm air–and no one can tell me, “It’s not even cold!” because they’re not here to say it.  The sun is out, but the weather’s been a big tease lately, messing with whoever gets cheeky enough to start believing it’s actually spring.

I spent an hour or so blog-hopping just now–something you might be surprised to hear I don’t do a whole lot of.  It’s Miss Lavender who’ll sometimes tell me, “Mom!  I found a blogger with older kids!”–as if such a discovery ought to be front page news.  The Mom Blogosphere is an interesting place, don’t you think?  Lots and lots of moms talking about their young ones.  Fewer of us talking about our older ones.

Really:  why do you think that is??  And does any serious discussion of that question pretend to happen without a) men’s pajamas in the mix, and b) chocolate as well?  (I particularly like the German brand that makes Milch & Schokolade, with a yogurt ganache in the center.  Yes indeed.)

Stay tuned for the afternoon session of these musings.


Karen March 15, 2013 at 8:43 am

My initial reaction to your question is that as the kids get older, it becomes a little bit of a privacy issue (as in respecting theirs) and not wanting to embarrass them. It’s one thing to share that your 5 year old is throwing tantrums and how you handled it, but how do you put it out there that your teenager is rebellious, failing school, or experimenting with challenging your values…
But I think that it would be great if more moms of older kids would share. We benefit from others’ experiences, right? The question then becomes, how do we share the things we are learning and the ways we are handling the hard stuff without violating their privacy and airing their “issues” to the world? A tricky balance, I would say. It’s easy to share the fun things.
I look forward to hearing what else you have to say on the topic. {i loved the image of being all cozy and enjoying your “secret” stash. i love my alone moments too.}

Becky March 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Karen, you went right to the heart of it, as you always do. I love that about your comments. It’s a delicate business, isn’t it? Talking in an opaque enough way about the business of raising older kids that we leave each other room to share . . . without violating the privacy of our kids? And you’re so right: a mom can talk about how hard it is to muscle a two-year-old into doing something because everyone knows how much muscle that takes, but talking about a twelve-year-old or an eighteen-year-old is way different, obviously. Somehow a thematic approach always felt okay to me: it allows for a certain opacity while still letting me address things I find important. I try to rely on my gut, too. If something feels too personal, or like it might prick the feelings of one of my kids, then I hold off. Having said that, there’s so much Wonderful, and I wanted to create a venue to highlight that, since I think it’s crucial that we focus on it as much as possible during these years. Blogging became a way for me to raise questions in a hopefully appropriate way and also wax grateful when I felt like it, the exercise itself reminding me how lovely this time can be. xx

Karen March 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm

You are right. There is so much Wonderful in this stage of mothering. I’m finding that even with the gut wrenching hard things, the Wonderful far outweighs it for me. I think it is critically necessary to highlight the great things at least as much as the hard. Everyone knows the hard parts of teendom but if the amazing parts get highlighted then maybe parents won’t go into this stage filled with such dread. It sort of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, don’t you think?
And I agree that the thematic approach is a great way to handle the privacy issue.

Becky March 16, 2013 at 3:02 am

We’re stepping out for a couple of hours, but I want to get back to you on the self-fulfilling prophecy notion. More and more, I believe that! xx

Becky March 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

Karen, on self-fulfulling prophecy, this says it, don’t you think?
Once upon a time, I used to believe I just had to sort of hold on and hold out, while whatever was happening to me finished happening (chaos, let’s say). Lately I think there’s plenty of truth to the idea that what we give our energies to manifests in our lives. I’m thus trying to be much more conscious of what I give my energies to!

On that theme, hope your show went well! Good thoughts, fingers crossed, happy wishes . . . may it all manifest! xx

RachelJL March 27, 2013 at 2:47 am

I was going to say the same thing as Karen. I know it greatly embarrasses my kids if they’ve found out that I’ve shared current frustrations with friends.
I do love the idea of sharing the good things more, though. I usually talk about how much fun it is to have “older” kids (mine are 11 and 15) but I’m also sharing the responsibility with their Dad and Step Mom due to my health, but still, to me, the teen years are usually “easier” for me. Not that I don’t miss their younger years. I still wish I could pick them up and throw them up on my shoulders or cuddle with them.
I shared a couple frustrations on Facebook about my daughter newly entering her “tween” years and acting like it lately, and immediately there were groans from several of my friends whose children are younger. I felt a little contrite and like I needed to immediately respond, again, to how much fun it is to see my kids getting more independent and choosing the things they want to spend more time with, and seeing them get better at things than I am in many areas. There really is so much to the tween and teen years that is just amazing!

Becky March 27, 2013 at 3:40 am

Rachel, interesting that you say you miss the cuddle years but are enjoying the tween and teen years. I feel a bit the same way. I loved my kids’ childhood years (and I have one still there!); those years felt gentle. But there’s something very cool about the teen years. Last night, we were having a dinner table conversation about the early Zionist movement from the point of view of the Palestinians, since Miss Lavender is reading a book for English, written by a Palestinian. So many perspectives, such complex issues, and SUCH a great discussion–one that wouldn’t have happened with the Miss L. who used to be Goose’s age. And Miss Zinnia had lots of questions, so she had an opportunity to learn about history, geopolitics, and literature at the dinner table. Man, I love the conversations that happen with teens. Nothing quite like those. xx

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