austin-moms-blog-letter-hands-on

Dear socially outgoing mamas,

Hello, I have a favor to ask of you today: please don’t judge my ways

As a hands on mama, I love being a part of my kids activities. On any given day, if we venture out to public places, this is what I hear:

Mama, watch this…
Mama, come here…
Mama, help me…
Mama, I want you to play with me…
Mama, please push me on the swing…
Mama, let’s go…
Mama, stop talking

Translation: “don’t even think about doing anything else.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love being wanted and who knows how long it will last. I must drink it up while my cup is full. I just don’t know how other moms I see can sit and chit chat while their kids are running around out of sight. (I’m a hot mess if they try to hide from me.) There are so many differences that I see between you and me.

You take your kid to the park and let them be free while you sit in the shade talking on the phone, playing with your phone or chatting with a friend.

I take my kids to the park and act like a kid because they want me to play with them. I may be able to stop and talk for a second, but don’t expect to have a deep conversation with me. Expect it to be interrupted umpteen times. Can we talk as grownups at nap time, night time or while they are in school?

Austin Moms Blog-Malu Talan-Hands on Mama-Park

You go to indoor play centers and sit with other parents and talk about fashion, books, movies and who knows what else (I honestly have no idea). There are people there to take care of your kids, right?

I am sitting at the edge of the foam pit or right outside the bouncy castle pulling out kid after kid that can’t do it alone because there is no one else around to help them. Does anyone work here? Maybe you think I do?

You make sure that parties are your social event as well. Let the kids figure things out while you look perfectly put together in a beautiful outfit, not a hair out of place and ready to be seen. And you do it so well!

I am in the trenches with the kids, either running after them in the yard, getting splashed in the face by water toys, or in the pool making sure no child is overlooked and all are safe and breathing while they use me as a flotation device. Do I look like an inflatable toy? Wait, don’t answer that. Why? Well, because they asked me to so nicely and I can never say no to sweet kids that want to play. I don’t mind if I look a mess ( just don’t take any pictures of me, ‘k?)

You may be raising strong and independent children that will have no fear of socializing and do great in any situation. They will love you and look up to you always. You may be popular and never be without a place to go with good friends. Your life may never feel empty when your kids are grown and out of the house because your social life has never changed.

I will also raise strong and independent children. It may take them a little longer to open up and trust others. I am ok with that. I will hopefully be seen to my kids as a friend (especially when they are older). I will be there for whatever they need for as long as I can. I will be remembered as fun and they will help keep me young (lord knows I need it). I will look forward to every chase and every dunk and every laundry basket full of mud. And, yes, I will be a little lonely when they leave me, but I’ll survive and patiently wait for their visits.

I am a hands on mama and I will never change my ways. You and I are different. You and I see motherhood at two extremes but we are both doing the best we can. At the end of the day, I will be there for you and your kids when you need me and I hope you will do the same. We are mothers, we are family and we will love, laugh and learn together.

Please forgive me if my way seems strange to you. Please forgive me for sometimes not understanding your way. I hope that through it all we can still be friends.

Thank you,

Your disheveled but oh-so-happy friend

austin-moms-blog-dear-hands-off-moms

Hola! I am Malu. I am a UT graduated bilingual mama raising two energetic boys who love with ALL of their heart. They are my greatest teachers and they make me try to be a better person even when I am not ready. I have been married to the love of my life since 2006 and can’t wait for FOREVER more. He is my rock, my sanity and makes me feel beautiful even in my worst days. I run the Family Events Calendar for AMB and have been part of this amazing team since 2014. I love how AMB lets mamas from all over Austin share their vision, their humor, their frustrations and whatever other stories they like to tell in this platform. It is a much needed safe space for mamas navigating this wild ride we are on. When I am not being mama or finding family events, my side hustles include searching for fun ways to help my boys love languages, writing silly picture books, running my own Rodan and Fields biz, helping out at their school when I can and getting my kids excited about it all!!

6 COMMENTS

  1. I’m not socially outgoing in the least, but I do sit back in park/play places, for a few reasons. Firstly, by the time I get to the park with my 3 kids I’ve probably painted, done playdough, built a fort, read made multiple meals, cleaned up after all the aforementioned activities, so getting to the park it’s probably the first time I’ve been able to sit down all day, so ya iI’m going to relax a bit and maybe check my email before my kids asked to be pushed on the swing or play tag. I don’t think this makes me any less “hands-on.” Secondly, I think it’s important for my kids to interact with other kids, form relationships, solve problems and engage in uninhibited imaginative play. They interact with me 75% of their day, so park time is kid time. I want my children to be able to navigate all different relationships in a safe environment. All In all I find this blog incredibly condescending, why does it need to be one extreme or the other? Push your kids on the swings, then sit back and have a coffee and let them be kids without an adult stifling them.

  2. “You’re so pretty! All that time neglecting your kids has really paid off!” and “Your kids are so independent, I bet you won’t even miss them when they move out” are clearly backhanded compliments, just like “I’m so bad at adult conversation, because I just can’t talk about frivolous things while my kids are in unsafe situations” and “I’m not good at socializing because I’m too busy being taking care of your poor, love-starved, unsupervised children” are obviously humblebrags. Tagging on a “let’s be friends” at the end doesn’t make it any less obvious that you clearly judge the other moms.

    And for the record, those moms are probably paying more attention to their kids than you realize, are far more aware of what their kids are and aren’t capable of than you are, and almost certainly spend a lot of time with their kids, just like you do. They just think allowing their kids some independent play time with other kids their own age in a safe setting intended for children is vital to their kids’ development. It’s not that they think their hair and social life are more important than their kids’ safety and well-being, and if you really want to be friends with them, you should probably try to understand that they love and care about their kids just as much as you love and care about your own.

  3. As the founder of a a program that works with elementary age girls, I have met all kinds of moms. I will confess that when I first became a mama, I too had some judgements up my sleeve. Now, I know from working with hundreds of girls & their moms that all moms – rich moms, struggling moms, hippie moms, career-oriented moms – are the same. They (we) care deeply and passionately about our children. They (we) are doing it all and then do some more…and then worry that they (we) haven’t done enough. Let’s build a community of women that support each other and the lives we have chosen to lead. Kindly, Candace Avila, http://www.smartcookiesschoolforgirls.com

  4. “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

    Everyone who is a mommy is in this together ladies. Opinions are why we read these things… Play nice.

  5. Oh barf. I came across a link to this website tonight and came to check it out, but if this is the kind of stuff I can expect to find here I won’t be back. This blog post starts by asking the reader to refrain from judging the author, and then goes on to passive-aggressively judge parents who don’t do as she does?? C’mon! Other women are not the enemy! This is bizarre and poorly written and I don’t think I need to see any more. Kthanksgoodnight!

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