Jennifer Garner kept her 5 month-old son Samuel close as she left the doctor’s office in Pacific Palisades this morning.
One of the most down to earth moms in Hollywood, Jennifer recently blogged for iVillage about the challenges of parenting, confessing that doing the right thing sometimes keeps her up at night.
Did you watch the Olympics and vow to double up on your Judo prodigy’s lessons to increase your odds of sitting in the stands of the 2024 Olympics, weeping at their efforts finally coming to fruition? Did you cry every time NBC cut to a parent watching their child compete? Confess! If I ever see Michael Phelps‘ mother at a Subway, I will burst into hysterical tears from some kind of deep sense memory.
Now, when you realize that your child hates the extra lessons and would rather build Star Wars Lego cities, what do you do? Do you push through until they like it again or is that too Tiger Mom? Do you let them quit and risk the future admonitions for letting them give it up — OR — do you find a Lego specialist and cross your fingers George Lucas has a seventh Star Wars up his sleeve?
This is the kind of mothering — okay, parenting — conundrum that keeps me up at night. How do I know if I’m getting it right? Isn’t it my job to parent, to encourage, to help my child define themselves? Or should I step out of the way and let them be led by their passions? Do kids understand their passions without getting past the boring fundamentals?
Touching on the pressure to breastfeed, she writes,
Or you imagine yourself as some kind of mom-Mary Milk Maid, for example, nursing your baby for at least 14 months until they are ready to transition straight to sippy cups, blah, blah, blah. And then … nothing. No amount of pumping and Fenugreek, hot tea and meditation can help you squeeze out more than an ounce and a half of breast milk and your child will be forever more susceptible to everything bad while you have a Scarlet B for Bottle emblazoned on your forehead (of course B works for Breast, too, but just go with me). The shame. The tears. The reorganization of your own self-image as MOM. What else will you fail at and how many more times will you let your child down? Many, many, many.
I really do love her because regardless of your income bracket or ‘status’ in society we all want the same things for our children. And we all worry about whether or not we are doing a good job.