Posts Tagged ‘moms’

Are You a Helicopter Mom or iPhone Mom?

Friday, October 7th, 2016

When baby comes and you find yourself still struggling with your weight, here are a few things to consider.My family recently moved to the hot, bug-filled state of Arkansas for my husband’s job. It is nice to be closer to our family, but we haven’t met any new friends yet. So, my two toddlers and I have been spending a lot of time at local play lands. While at the mall a few weeks ago, I noticed there are two types of moms I see frequently–the helicopter mom and the iPhone mom.

So what exactly is a helicopter mom? Helicopter parents are overly focused on their children. This term was first used in 1969 in a book by Dr. Haim Ginott. Helicopter parents are usually thought of with older children. Know anyone whose mom or dad planned their college schedule, held their hand through everything, and took care of all of their business for them? With toddlers, helicopter moms are usually the ones who are smothering their children. They may be playing with them constantly or not allow them to explore any on their own. Some things that may cause helicopter parenting are fear, anxiety, overcompensation, and peer pressure according to parents.com.

I feel like helicopter mom does have negative stigma, but I have to be honest. I am a bit of a helicopter mom with my kids. I want them to succeed and I can’t handle watching them fail, and they’re only 2 and 4. While I know failure is a part of learning, I am hopeful I will be able to loosen up the older they get and be their cheerleader, not their coach constantly.

Okay, so the iPhone mom. The local play area we go to is full of them. They sit in the play area on their phone the whole time. I can only imagine they’re checking their Facebook or texting. Recently, my daughter Johanna was playing with another little boy around her age, which is 4. The little boy would not stop touching her. I did not like it and wanted the child to keep his hands to himself. Of course, his dad was sitting in the corner of the play land looking at his phone. Another day we were at McDonald’s and an older child would not stop picking up my 2-year-old son. I looked for mom or dad, but they were too busy playing a game on their phone to care, so I had to step in.

Now, being an iPhone mom is not always bad. Maybe some of these moms are looking up recipes for their family, taking a few minutes to unplug because of a rough morning, or just catching up with a friend. We spend every waking moment watching our kids and taking care of them, in fact, today’s parents spend more time with their kids than parents did 50 years ago—way before iPhones. But we need to remember to take care of ourselves, too.

Now let’s get back to the play land. Moms everywhere–some checking their phones and some following little ones around. Which one are you? I am the mom sitting down, mostly because I am about to have a baby, but I also am trying to find balance. I want to be the mom who is there when I need to be for my kids, but I also want to be able to check a text or send an email when they’re safe and entertained. I want to be a mom who supports other moms, and doesn’t judge what their parenting style is like.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2, almost 3, in Arkansas where she checks her phone and hovers like a helicopter. 

Grinching Out On Mother’s Day

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

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Sometimes I feel like such a Mother’s Day grinch. But the truth is, for most moms Mother’s day is no different than every other day of the year. And even if you are Jedi-level good at keeping expectations low, they can creep up on Mother’s day despite your best intentions.

Last year, Mother’s day was kind of a wreck. It was just a hard day, which happens pretty frequently when your kids are 6, 3 and 2, superfluous holidays notwithstanding. It’s a day when I tend to stay off social media, as obnoxious humble brags abound about worlds’ best children and husbands, who are, in reality, probably selfish and thankless and piggish every other day of the year, but on this day are photoshopped to be the standard bearers for selflessness and generosity.

So, to flee the suppressive air of social media and all things mother’s day, I went on a hike. Alone. A hike broken only by the ringing of my phone high on the top of a hill to confirm the reception of one (1) orphaned squirrel baby that we found in our backyard and to be placed with the finest of (free) wild squirrel rehab facilities. A call which I was happy to take. Because I am no squirrel mom, and I figured if she abandoned her pup as we had to surmise she did, she’s probably having a worse day than I am.

The year before, just months after having my third child, Mother’s Day had been punctuated with silence from my own mother. I had sent her an email gift certificate which became lost in her inbox; she assumed I had gotten her nothing for Mother’s day and didn’t call until Monday, when she found it.

IMG_9759So I cried a little bit on this hike, and felt sorry for myself, and then got over it. I did a little trail running her and there, and when I got to the top, it was worth it. I sat on a bald spot of rock and watched boats trail lazily in the water below, their motors audible even this far up. I watched birds soar past a little farther down over the lake, hunting prey. I took in the shadowy silhouettes of the mountains across the way, disappearing back as far as I could see. I ate some flavored almonds and an apple and I didn’t share with anyone.

It took me an hour and a half to hike up, an hour to hike down, and an hour of driving round-trip. And when I got home, I felt refreshed, restored, and ready to deal with a baby squirrel rehoming emergency.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer, marathoner and mother of three girls. She lives and writes in Oklahoma City. 

Celebrating Me on Mother’s Day

Friday, April 29th, 2016

celebrating me on other's dayCelebrating Mother’s Day can look very different for different moms. Some will go out to brunch with their family. Some will spend the day doing a fun outing with the kids. Many moms will be so busy celebrating their mothers, grandmothers, or aunts that they will forget that the day is also about them.

As a stay-at-home mom who spends the majority of my waking hours with my children, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do than spend Mother’s Day all by myself. I absolutely love being able to spend so much time with my children daily, but having a pampering day by myself seems like the most rewarding way to celebrate.

Last year, that is exactly what I did. It was a day of no diaper changes, no meal preparation and full of me-time. My day did however include many check-ins and nursing appointments with my 6-month-old daughter. I still managed to squeeze in several activities that were all about me. I started the day by taking myself out for a cup of fancy coffee. The mall was my next stop. My husband met me there with my kids so I could nurse my daughter while our son played in the mall play area. After nursing her, I went off by myself to explore the mall. To be honest, I felt a little lost without my kids in tow. My first instinct was to shop for clothes for my kids, but I stopped myself. I instead found a place in the mall to get a pedicure that took walk-in appointments. I enjoyed getting my feet pampered while watching the other mothers and daughters getting pedicures together. I made my way home to nurse my daughter before her nap and went jogging all by myself. It felt strange not pushing kids in a jogging stroller as I ran. The rest of the day consisted of relaxing in front of the TV and having dinner made for me. Celebrating me on Mother’s Day was the best gift I could give to myself to help me recharge for the year ahead.

This year, I think I will up the game and make an appointment for a massage!

Sarah Cole is a writer and stay-at-home mom of two busy toddlers who looks forward to pampering days.

Dear Moms of the Internet: Can We All Just Calm Down? Nope, Not Just Yet.

Monday, March 21st, 2016

IMG_9931I read this blog on Huffpost Parents, titled, “Dear Moms of the Internet, in 2016 Can We All Just Calm Down?” and while I’d love to answer yes, I just have to say no.

Yes, the epidemic of offense has gotten out of control. Everyone’s on Facebook whining about something that offends them—that’s why I never post anything on there anymore. From my kids to my house, I’m afraid of being judged, shamed or scorned, so I just gradually quit posting things on my “danger zone” list until nothing was really left except my Nike+ running updates, which I don’t remember how to turn off.

Yes, people are out there looking for a reason to be offended. And while the author is a mom of four and has totally been there, her kids are nearly all teenagers, and that puts her in a vastly different position than moms of small children.

When you’re a mom of a toddler, preschooler or infant, you are getting a barrage of unsolicited advice thrown at you all the time. You basically can’t go anywhere without getting glares, the side-eye or being judged. Those comments that kind old ladies make? You hear them 20 times a day.

Fourteen different strangers kindly suggesting you “have your hands full” while letting the door slam in front of you. Five grocery store ladies asking “Are they all yours?” and walking off smiling at their own wit. Two preschool moms asking if your last child was planned. Four ladies at church asking if you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding, and then before you can even answer, loosing forth all the outdated knowledge they have accumulated on the subject.

These comments are harmless in the ones and twos. By the third one, your ears turn red the moment someone opens their mouth. They are motive for homicide after the tenth or twelfth. And while that is going on every time you leave the house, at home you likely feel overwhelmed, lonely, and you’re probably sleep deprived. So no matter what you do, you just can’t win.

I have three kids, 7, 4, and 3, and I feel like we have just reached an age where we can go out of the house without feeling self-conscious and judged every time. Life is really hard at this stage, and it’s impossible to know how hard it was until you’ve cleared it. On the rare occasions someone does have a freak out in public now, I can’t remember how I managed when it was a daily occurrence. Probably because my brain just blocked it out.

So please, forgive these moms for being a little quick to be offended or take things personally. It’s hard right now. Really, really hard. But it gets better. And when it does, they’ll try to remember so they can smile at that overwhelmed mom in the grocery store, and simply say, “She’s beautiful. You’re doing a great job.”

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mother of three girls. She lives and writes in Oklahoma City.

Motherhood Gets Better

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Motherhood Gets BetterOkay. We get it. You’ve survived the tiny phase, where there is a divisive debate between which stage is worse: two years old or three years old. Your kids know how to make themselves breakfast, and the rare night-time interruption is the result of a bad dream instead of needing a nipple in their mouth every two hours. Going places isn’t a big deal, as it doesn’t consist of an hour of trying to find socks, and shoes, and of course you pooped in your diaper right before we head out the door, and let’s get you buckled in your car seat, and omg how did you poop again you just pooped how does this even happen?!?

You’re busy navigating the older stages. You have plenty on your mind, and the work isn’t necessarily easier, just different. Here’s the thing, though—for you, the trenches weren’t that long ago. Look back for a minute. Did you have support? Did you have the occasional adult to talk to? Did you bounce ideas off of someone? Do you remember cringing at the thought of grocery shopping with the kids, but also relishing the idea of maybe exchanging small talk with the cashier as your sole form of adult interaction for that day?

Human beings require connection in order to survive. Motherhood has transformed from this “it takes a village” mentality into something that has become incredibly isolating. We are now programmed to show only our shiniest moments on the Internet, while quietly dwelling in a reality filled with poop, tantrums, sleepless nights, fevers, and more poop. So sure, your friend with her tiny child may come over, and while the tiny child is ripping books off your bookshelf your friend may ask, “Is homemade baby food really worth the time and effort?” but what she’s really saying is, “I’m overwhelmed, and this is hard. You’ve survived this hard part—please support me while I try to figure it out myself.”

In a culture where we seem so prone to disconnect from others, let us seek opportunities to reach out and uplift when we can. We can never guess when it’s going to be us who needs a little help reinventing the wheel.

Keighty Brigman is terrible at crafting, throwing birthday parties, and making sure there isn’t food on her face. Allegedly, her four children manage to love her anyway.