Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Parental Police

Parental Truism #2781: No matter how confident you are in your motherly (or fatherly) prowess, you will still be made to feel completely inadequate over really random shit.

Truism #2781 certainly holds for the obvious issues - take a crying baby, for instance. Sometimes babies cry, and sometimes, no matter what you do, they just won't stop. You can know this fact -- that babies cry -- and you can still spend an hour berrating yourself for your inability to console your crying child. That's my issue. Other women might get upset if they can't get dinner on the table, or have their kids dressed nicely. Whatever it is, there are plenty of obvious, everyday happenings that can make you feel like less of person.

Truism #2781 also holds for more insidious topics, events that swing at your self esteem out of left field. Take, for instance... our Christmas card. We had a professional photographer take pictures of Jack when he was born. Greg and I picked out the photo we wanted: a cute shot of the five us...Tori, Me, Jack, Greg, and Zane. A family photo.

We decided to use this photo for the Christmas card, tried a few card layouts, and soon realized that the family photo, although lovely, only shows Jack as a bundled lump in our laps. We wanted to show him in action. So we picked out a few more recent photos and put it all together on one card.

Since printing our own cards, we've received quite a few Christmas cards from friends and family. And then I noticed something... all of the Christmas cards featured just kids, no parents.

And then I proceeded to freak out for the next hour and a half.

Is there some unspoken rule that Christmas cards should not have adults on them?


Do I direct enough attention away from myself and towards my baby?


Will the other parents be judging me?


Am I a selfish mother?


Again, you think I'm joking.

(Warning: this is what happens when you wake up every 2 hours for 5 months straight.)

The photographer in me also happens to be reeeaaaaaallly bothered by the fact that I only took one out of the four photos and, as a group, the color balance is totally, completely, visually irritatingly, off.

Sigh. I've done it again. Somehow, through some small mechanism, I've totally ruined Jack's chance at a happy future. All the families will judge me for my Christmas card and not let their babies play with mine. *

*(Can I be dramatic for the sake of humor? :) )

So, time for a reality check.

Who really cares? Who, other than myself, is going to inspect our Christmas card so closely? DUH. Nobody. There are no parental police for things like Christmas cards.

Still, it's nearly impossible to avoid Parental Truism #2781, and so I will suffer through inadequacy for a little while longer.

But then there's Parental Truism #2782 to consider: no matter what, the choices you are make are always, smugly, 100%-ly... right... all of the time. Even when it involves improperly conjugated adverbs.

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