Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why do mothers do this to themselves??

Several months ago, I spotted a Halloween costume online that I knew would be just perfect for Noah.  It was, by far, the cutest costume for a baby boy I had ever seen, so obviously my son needed to wear it.

I will admit (a bit sheepishly) that this quest for the "cutest" costume was motivated by pride.  Who doesn't want to have the cutest kid at the Halloween party? 

I often say that Noah has humbled me.  And he certainly has.  Before Noah was born, I will admit that I sometimes judged my friends' parenting.  (I am sorry, Friends.  I promise it wasn't malicious.)  I was basically the last of all of my friends to become a mother, so I had many years to observe and critique. When their kids didn't nap well, I thought it was Mom's fault.  (If you were just consistent with him, he would nap.) When their kids refused to eat a variety of nutritious foods, I thought it was Mom's fault.  (If you just introduced him to vegetables sooner and insisted that he eat them, he would.)  The list goes on.  Every problematic behavior displayed by a child would have an easy fix, if Mom were just consistent.

Well, you know what the old Proverb says: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" (16:18).  I now have a son who takes 30-minute naps and refuses to eat anything but white bread and bananas.  I swear I am consistent with him.  I have read all the books and done my darndest to make him sleep, eat, and behave well.  I will continue to do my best, but despite all of my efforts, he does in fact have a mind and will of his own (shocker!).

He certainly demonstrated that strong-willed nature when I tried to put him in his Halloween costume earlier this week.  Every time I put the old man glasses on him, he had a complete and total meltdown.  I tried several days in a row, thinking that he would get used to the idea.  But no such luck.  Noah was NOT going to wear the costume that his mother had dreamed up for him.

I would be lying if I said that I wasn't absurdly disappointed.  My resulting disappointment was totally disproportionate to the cause.  I mean, honestly, it's a Halloween costume.  No one cares!

But what about the cute photo shoot that I had planned?  What about the awesome blog post I was already writing in my head?

SERIOUSLY, RACHEL, NO ONE CARES.  Not the grandparents (who would think he was darling in a paper sack) and not my friends (who would see a photo of him in his costume, no matter how adorable it was, and think "That's cute!" and move on with their day).  We live in a very strange culture today where every move our children make is Instagrammed, Facebooked, and blogged, and I don't know about every one else out there, but for me, it is sometimes distracting from the most important part of mothering: being with my son.  When I am worried about getting a perfect photo of him to broadcast to the world, I often end up frustrated and grumpy with him.  It is quite ridiculous.

And so, after giving myself this pep talk, and realizing that it mattered more that he was happy on Halloween than that he was perfectly costumed, I pulled out my nephew's old ninja outfit and slapped it on Noah.  Though the costume was a little big for him, I will admit, he looked stinkin' adorable after all.  It turns out he doesn't need his mama's help in order to shine.

Who needs throwing stars when you can use crusty snow as a weapon?
A little ninja and his sensei
Are they cute or what?!
A moment of meditation before pursuing his enemy
"I will defeat this ghost with my ninja broom-wielding skills!"
We tried a little Japanese-inspired facial hair, but decided it wasn't really Noah's style. :)
"This is so much more fun than wearing those bulky glasses, Mom!"
I wish this photo weren't blurry, but he is one speedy little ninja!
I'm lucky I got him in the photo at all!
I hope you had a fun Halloween, my little ninja face.  I'm sorry that you have to endure the hardships of being a first child. (I have a feeling that I will let go of all delusions of being in control and having things perfect after more children come along). In the meantime, thanks for humbling your mama and reminding her what really matters.

Happy (belated) Halloween everyone!


  1. I love this post. And your little ninja is so cute! Thanks for the mom inspiration and for reminding us all what's really important. My kids arent even here yet and I'm already falling into this trap, thinking about how it will be (having the cutest photos, etc.), so thanks for the reminder!

  2. Lexi has lots of opinions on how she should be dressed. It has to be pink. It has to have a skirt and it has to have lots of layers. This is one of those things that I sometimes care about but not as much as I used to. One of the other moms in the ward told me last week that she was shocked I would let Lexi leave the house not matching. I think Lexi had 3 skirts on also. There are so many other things that we are going to fight with our children about that I really don't need to add this one to the list. We went to a birthday party a couple weeks ago and somebody asked if I shopped for Lexi at this really expensive store. Heaven's no! Most of her clothes are from the goodwill or target clearance. Anyways, the lady loved Lexi's style and thought she was adorable. Funny. Maybe there's hope for her being stylish someday. Okay, so I'm going on and on about nothing here. I hope you guys are well and that you and Ry and Noah are happy.

  3. That last photo=ADORABLE!!!!! You have to print and frame it! It's so beautiful, I just love it.

    Noah was a handsome ninja--I was partial to the 'stache. And I would have loved to see him pull off the UP guy, but really, who cares cause that outfit is still SO CUTE! I hope he wears it to church, many times.

  4. As far as I can tell, you're learning all the same things in one year of Noah's life that I am learning over 6 1/2 years of Spencer's life. You're a much quicker learner. :) These are things I've been thinking about a lot lately, and you'll probably be SHOCKED to know that much of my planner has been chucked out the window lately so that I can just BE with my kids.

    Noah looks adorable, thank heavens for hand-me-down-from-cousin costumes, right? Rylee wore Lizzy's costume this year and won a costume contest in it. :)

  5. Molly is right, print, fame and display the lat photo. And Christy is right too, you are figuring it all out so quickly!
    Noah is one lucky bug.

  6. Classic. Sam just had a fit over how cute he was as a Ninja, so it all worked out. :)

  7. I just have to say "Amen." I am sure that I'm going to get a pretty rude awakening when I start mothering our little girl in January. Parenting seems so easy from the outside, and I have definitely caught myself saying similar things about parents when I observe children misbehaving in some way.

  8. So stinkin cute! I can imagine the things you were thinking about my parenting just a few short years ago. But I am NOT going to mess up this next child!

  9. No, Nat--I could see up-close-and-personal how strong-willed Taylor was. I didn't judge you. And you did NOT mess him up--he's wonderful! And your next baby will be too. (Yay for babies!)

  10. Hahahaha! Story of my life! He is such a darling little ninja! My favorite pics are the ones with you and with Ryan. He sure loves his parents!


I love hearing from you!! Thanks for the comment!