Tuesday, October 7, 2008

...with my mind on my babies and my babies on my mind.

"You're so laid back." 

"You're so relaxed."

I keep getting comments like these in relation to my mothering, and I just can't seem to take them as a compliment. 

Do they mean:

"Your holey-crotched yoga pants evoke a confident ease." or

"The way you put your greasy mop back in the same ponytail every day shows a true laissez-faire approach to hair care" or more likely,

"Watching you let those babies cry as you pee/shove a meal down your gullet/scratch your ass shows you've developed a truly casual parenting style."

I'm sure that's overthinking it a bit, but I just wonder what people mean exactly.  I don't notice that other moms are super hyper (Well, not all moms anyway).  I'm generally a laid back person in a lot of respects.  And I've discovered that babies cry.  Sometimes they're crying for a reason, but sometimes they're just crying because they don't know what else to do with their bountiful spare time. 

Also, I really subscribe to the theory that if I stay calm, the babies will too.  We keep a fairly quiet house.  The tv is low when it's on.  We don't yell much (ever) and I think (hope) that this will result in chill kids who don't need to shriek to be heard.  But now that I've been getting this comment so much, I wonder if I'm TOO relaxed.  Should I be rushing to them at every squawk?  Or wiping up every drop of drool?  I've recently renamed Sarah "Drooliette Lewis", so I would be extremely hard-pressed to keep up with that constant flow.  I guess I will just take it as a compliment, but I know that every time someone says it, I will wonder a little bit what about me seems so chill.

So, spill it.  Have you ever thought a mom was laid back?  So much so that you told her?  And were you being nice?  Come on - I can take it!


Leah said...

Maybe it's a twin thing. The only other genuinely laid back mom I know also has twins. She was laid back to start with, but twins made her a laid back mom.

Me? Not so much laid back with my first. I think a better way to describe my parenting style was something more akin to "completely insane, debilitatingly neurotic, comically overanxious and painfully paranoid." It wasn't pretty. I annoyed even myself.

But with my second? I'm the picture of tranquility. While I'd like to take all the credit for the 180 degree turnaround, I give more credit to Liam's personality (all the cuteness of Megan but with much! less! shrieking!). Oh yeah, and let's not forget about my good buddy Zoloft. Props to the pharmaceutical industry.

I, personally, find ratty sweats and a greasy ponytail truly intoxicating. I bet it's that you just don't have that haunted, haggard, anxious look that many first time mothers do and people are mistaking that for an abundance of relaxed attitude. Or perhaps you really are relaxed. A natural. Whatever it is, keep it up because it seems you are a rock star!

shawna said...

If I had to choose if I would rather be a laid back mother or a high-strung one, I would definitely choose laid back. I think that I am somewhere in the middle, although I strive to lean more towards the laid back type.

edie & ella said...

Well.......I've never wanted to say anything before BUT since you ask....
I (using I statements to make it seem like less of an attack) feel that your lack of using taped on gigantic flourescent hair bows in Drooliets hair is a MAJOR problem...some may say a little TOO laid back. I mean I'm not trying to hurt your feelings. I'm just sayin.
Your really wants to go walking, not being a flake, but life is upside down with getting ready to move, friend SAM

Geohde said...

"Watching you let those babies cry as you pee/shove a meal down your gullet/scratch your ass shows you've developed a truly casual parenting style."

THAT one I love. I worry about it myself. I'm sure my neighbours will call child services one of these days because either one or the other is always shrieking :)


Bean said...

Actually yes, I have had friends that I would describe as laid back parents and to me it is a great compliment. So many parents I know (including myself) worry way to much (and overreact) about way too many things that really shouldn't be a big deal. I always admire parents and people who can make it through life without creating unnecessary drama.

Rebecca said...

My friends have all said comments like these to me and I question my sanity every single time. The truth is that I am pretty relaxed and I think it's ridiculous not to be! The other truth is that I have pretty easy babies and I don't feel the need to hover...hopefully I never will!

I have said that to friends thinking that it was a compliment...I think it is a compliment. If you're relaxed, you seem natural at what you're doing. See? You're a natural!

I loved what you said about the sweats, hair, and ass scratching...at least I'm not alone! I'd much rather be relaxed than uptight...take it as a compliment and put your feet up as they say it!

Ms. Planner said...

E, you took your IF meds with you to a Wilco concert and shot up in the bathroom. What kind of parent did you think you would be?

Of course, I think you are totally cool and laid back. And mean that as a supreme compliment. You are right, the babies will project the vibe you have cultivated in your house. That's a good thing.

There is a difference between being laid back versus lazy. You, my friend, are the former not the later.

Sticky Bun said...

I get the same thing. I think it's a combination of the twin thing-- because we have to learn earlier to cede control (out of necessity more than anything else)--and because people have exceedingly low expectations of twin moms. People expect to see us freaking out, weeping in the corner of a room, rocking back and forth, while a chaos-induced tornado swirls around us. When that doesn't happen and you roll with it a bit more, people are mesmerized and assume we are the most laid back people ever.

So, I definitely think it's a compliment. I think it speaks to the fact that you are able to roll with the punches and not get overwhelmed by your cute babies--which is a VERY good thing. :-)

Gemini Girl said...

I am def laid back with my twins. I have been this way from the get go. I guess after seeing your children in the NICU, turn blue and having nurses rush to their side, you kind of have things in perspective. I dont freak out if they fall, or bang their heads, or have a fever. These are not reasons for me to lose it. Plus, you def give off a nervous energy to your child if you freak out at the sight of a skinned knee.
I rememeber when my girls were a month old, and the early intervention lady came by my apt to evaluate them- she said I was such a relaxed and laid back mother. I was questioning what she meant by that as well!

seussgirl said...

Hey - haven't seen a post in quite awhile - just checking in to make sure everything is going okay!

Stacemoe said...

Just wanted to let you know you have been missed...Hope all is well!