“That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.”
This is my favorite Amy Poehler quote, and possibly one of my favorite quotes of all time. It rang true a year and a half ago when I first read Poehler’s book Yes Please, but it rings even truer now that I’m a mom.
I just scrapped a post I’d spent half an hour writing and rewriting. It was a post about letting E watch snippets of TV here and there, a few minutes at a time, because she loves the bright colors and the sounds. It was a post about how as parents, we’re surrounded by the argument that TV is bad for babies and that we’re essentially ruining them if we expose them to it this early on. It was a post about how I don’t believe I’m harming my baby by minimally exposing her to something that makes her squeal and laugh and dance when she’s in the midst of a meltdown over who knows what.
But after I went back and read it, I stopped and thought to myself, “This is bullshit. Why do I feel the need to defend myself over this?”
As parents, there is so much pressure to do everything the RIGHT way. There is so much emphasis on what we should and shouldn’t do. What will turn our children into geniuses and what will corrupt them. What makes us good parents and what makes us bad parents.
I’ve only been a mother for three months and I’m already tired of wondering if what I’m doing for E is “right” or “wrong.” If E is happy and healthy and hitting her milestones, I’m doing a fantastic job. That mom over there goes out of her way to keep her baby away from the TV? Good for her! Not for me. That mom over there doesn’t let her baby nap in her arms because it forms a bad habit? Good for her! Not for me. That mom over there schedule’s her baby’s nap times? Good for her! Not for me.
I’m over defending myself. Everyone who meets E is sure to tell me what a good and happy baby she is. So even if, by the books, I’m doing certain things “wrong,” I’d say I’ve done a hell of a lot “right.” I know what’s best for my baby, and it’s not always what’s best for someone else’s baby.
THAT is what’s good for me.