Friday, May 30, 2008

Mother F@&M^#!



I learned something interesting today.

Seems there are some people out there (not saying who) who have made an important life decision upon meeting me.

Me, of all people.

They've decided against having children.


After meeting ME.

Seriously. They actually said: "No. It was after meeting her."

Jed tried to make me feel better by saying I've really done the world a public service by influencing this particular decision, but I'm still a little raw. Do I give motherhood a bad name?


Binky said...

That is hilarious. Is it okay that I'm laughing like this? In this case, it's funny because it's NOT true. And because sometimes if we didn't laugh, we'd cry ;)

toyfoto said...

I won't hold it against you. I would have been laughing myself if I wasn't feeling so stunned. Seriously, I might actually cry. I write here and I feel like sometimes I'm writing in a vacuum and people really don't comment much here for a reason.

Ms. Max Power said...

Oh, my. I think if I found that out about myself I wouldn't just be stunned, but offended. I don't comment much on any one place (and never have here before, hi! you're not writing in a vacuum), but I love your writing, and I'm sure I'll never meet you, but I can't imagine saying that if I did. Your boy looks just like my little one (I don't know HOW, as I'm Indian, but he does)...I love your photographs; it makes me smile when I see them and wish I could take pictures of my kids like that, that show how much you care for them. I don't think anyone who reads this would think you give motherhood a bad name.

toyfoto said...

Thank you for commenting, ms. max power. Thank you for your words.

the mama said...

well that person, whoever it was, is an asshole and probably not meant to parent anyway. i, for one, am inspired by your parenting and in love with your kids. so fuck them.

wanderlust said...

I am sure you are stunned, because that is a terrible thing to hear. Even if those people shouldn't have children. You are constantly an inspiration to me, I know I tell you that often but you really truly are.

Anonymous said...

wow. I would be hurt. and? what the hell? And I wonder how someone else's parenting or whatever would ever make someone not want to have kids -I mean what difference does it make.

this is Ann Wicke btw.

XDM said...

How about, you inspire me TO have kids? And I already have them?

Happy said...

From you photos, you seem like a fine parent. I used to be put off by people who swore off having children but now realize it's probably for the best. There are plenty of people who should not be parents, but are. The ones that know that fact up front and decide not to reproduce make the world a better place.

I'm guessing they saw how much work it is and how much a child changes one's life, is probably what caused them to say what they did. So you must be a hard working, dedicated parent and they don't think they can handle it. That's my guess anyway.

-Happy Tinfoil Cat

wilsonian said...

When the dust settles, you're gonna know deep down in your heart that you are a fabulous parent. Your kids are clearly happy. Your daughter seems to have the freedom and support to grow up discovering who she is. They are freakin' cute as all get out (and I know that actually has nothing to do with your parenting ability, but I couldn't help saying it).

I don't have kids, and at 40 my biological clock is ringing the final alarm... and you know, some days I can't bear to look at your kids/family/life because it is so beautiful it makes me envious. And I don't like to be that way. But days like today, when I'm not all nutty hormonal, I can just take in what you choose to show us here (snotty noses and all), and be really happy for you. :)

You don't have to take responsibility for the fact that that other person has mental heath issues!

Anonymous said...

Dear Stranger,
oh dear toyfoto
I don't know you at all and I know you so well...that is how honest your blog is.

Based on all this, I can say, I wished so many times if only I knew you in real life and then I would have told you face to face that you are an amazing mother and I would consider you as one of the top 5 mothers that I know....and let's just say I am a very tough judge in life.

You are honest and real...something that is so rare these days. You question yourself every step of the way in understand the freedom that a child needs to become his and her own person... and above all you give love with no one can write and take pictures so honest like this and not have unconditional love....

Do you know what I think?
I think the person with such a perception is either totally delusional or...with a positive spin...she/he/they realized that to be a mother / parent, they have to be a mother / parent like you or not at all because this is one of the highest they look hard into their life and said: "No we can not be this good"!!!

If it is any worth to you to know: I have to say, since I stumbled on your blog by total accident, I learned so much from you and you inspire me to have more kids...

Relentless Toil said...

My dear, I have heard similar remarks; I feel certain that this person's observation isn't actually about you or your kids. It is about the observer.
You and your kids rock.

Kathleen said...

Do I have anyone else's flickr stream bookmarked? NOOOOO. I love your obvious adoration of your children and your beautiful photography. It is inspiring for amateurs like me.
My mom used to say, "The dogs bark, but the caravan passes on." (I think it's from the Bible or somewhere like that - but totally applicable.) So keep your caravan going...please!

angela said...

This person does not know a great parent when they see one. They obviously have no clue.
This person will also never ever know the joys and pains of raising children. That, to me, is sad.

Chin up, buckaroo. You know you've got mad mama skills.

Angie said...

(jujubefamily) hi toyfoto! I'm stunned. you of all people? I don't know you personally and I didn't want to ... scare you by commenting much here or on your photostream b/c I'm this internet 'stranger' (and don't have kids yet with the husband/boy), but from reading your blogs and seeing your photography, I can guess as much (actually have made up my mind) that you're an extraordinary mother. thoughtful, intelligent, loving... its so obvious that your children adore you and that you have an amazing family. Please don't let comments like that get you down. Seriously.
we're rooting for you!!

toyfoto said...

I am seriously tearing up with all these wonderfully supportive comments.

I know my children are loved and wanted. I know I'm not perfect, nor are they. I know that we are all doing the best we can. And I've never held not-wanting kids against anyone. I know bunches of good, good people for whom children aren't part of the plan. Was a time in my own life when that was me, too. Never in a million years would I say to one of them: You'll change your mind. Who am I to say what's best? I don't know myself.

I suppose what's really hard for me is to know that for whatever reason, someone looked in my direction, put their finger on something they were trying to pin down and said "YOU! Don't want to wind up like you. Nah-uh."

I know one if not both of my kids will likely feel this way. And they may even tell me that it was me and my influence on their childhood that was the reason. ... And THAT is really going to suck.

Anonymous said...

Dear supermom,

You're a mom every kid would deserve: no extra fuss, nothing super sweet and rosy. Pure and plain love, that's it. If somebody does not see you as fit for a role model, there may be some blindness there. I've got the impression that you are a real thing. That's what counts in my book.


Firestarter5 said...

...and these people are? Oh, that's right. NOBODY.

Annabel will control the world one day. I've said this before and have no reason to not believe it.

Silas will be there right beside her. Probably putting gum in her hair...but hey! That's what brothers are for.

...and Toy in jeans. Mamacita *sigh* Thumbs up indeed!

belseslaf said...

Listen, I love your family. I mean it.
You inspire me every day.

Ron said...

Perhaps it's just a matter of someone realizing they couldn't live up to the high standard you set? Or that seeing how much commitment and dedication motherhood requires on your part, they decided it's not for them. Either way, it's certainly no reflection on YOU. From your writings and your photos, it's obvious that you're a sensitive person who cares a great deal about your family. I bet you're a terrific mom.

toyfoto said...

really. i have no standards. I try to keep them from wrecking places when we go out. I try to get them to understand there is such a concept as manners. When that doesn't work I pretend they are with someone else.

I'm not a horrible mom. I'm not a supermom. I'm just doing the best I can as best I can. My kids are good kids, and I really believe they were born the way they are. I can't take credit for that.

Baccus Family said...

What??? That's crazy!

You absolutely do not give motherhood a bad name.

Are these people friends of yours? I imagine not - especially after that comment. What is up with that? Were they trying to be funny?

Well, I think you are a wonderful thoughtful mom and someday your kids will love reading all of the things you have written about them. And seeing the fabulous pictures.

(And you probably didn't make your kid touch a snake last weekend! Ha!)

toyfoto said...

I would totally try and get annabel to touch the snake. I might even chase jed with it.

Jasi said...

Hey, I'm all for informed decision-making. Parenthood isn't for everyone and I'm really glad that some people don't fall into thinking, "Gee, I'm of a certain age... better procreate".

Probably make lousy parents anyways.

Kelly said...

That's bullshit. I come here to this blog and, if anything, I find myself entranced with the world you're documenting here -- both in words and pictures. You obviously adore your children, you're obviously thoughtful and kind and caring in your posts, so whomever made that decision based on you needs a mental health evaluation. Stat. You're great, so is your family, and I feel I can safely say that not even having met you. Sometimes, you can just tell. I'd be wounded too, it would be hard not to. But take these comments to heart. Hopefully they'll wash away some of the damage caused by that other person.

Sarah said...

toyfoto, you inspire me to have kids. Now, I'm not saying you are the only one, but I love the family life you convey through your photos. Your children look completely happy, as they should be. You obviously love them unconditionally. Whoever said that horrid comment must have you mixed up with someone else, because your family is beautiful and amazing and inspiring, and I don't think many moms can claim that honestly. You are a great mother, so don't let the bastards get you down. :)

Anonymous said...

Ohhh, tell me who it is so I can go key their car! You are inspiring as a mother, an encourager and amazing to boot. That person who said that *MUST* have meant that there was no way they could be as good a mother as you are.

Andrea said...

Oh Thank GOD! Because really, a person that grinchy and horrible has no BUSINESS inflicting their cold, black heart on some hapless children. You did the world a GIANT favor.

I think you're a fantastic mother, photographer, writer... I think Annabel is so creative and honest and fearless BECAUSE of you. There are traits about your mothering that I ASPIRE to. Really. When Anna was born and we heard the "It's a Girl!" cry from the doctor, I got scared. Terrified. But in the wee hours of that first night, when I was was all hormonal and worried about how in the hell am I of all people going to raise a honest and strong and confident young girl, I thought of all the mothers of girls whose blogs I read and I realized that I am surrounded by the best of the best on my blogroll. Between you and Mom101 and Breed Em & Weep and The New Girl and so many others, I have some guidance. The thought of your bright and beautiful and confident little girl got me through some terrifying moments when I felt overwhelmed by having a girl of my own, and I know you'll apply those same principles to Silas' upbringing as well.

You're an awesome mom, and don't you let one person's negative opinion get to you. Besides, it's debatable whether that person is really even human. So ignore them.

mamatulip said...

Oh dear Lord, NO. NO YOU DON'T.


Whirlwind said...

I am really surprised at that. You always make parenting seem so FUN (I'd hate to see what they think of the rest of us!). I read stuff here and think "why don' I do that". Your snack ideas in the cupcake wrappers - genius! And your photos, I totally envy those.

Reva said...

ok.. this really made me delurk.
you are amazing.. I love the way u write and it seems so honest and straight-from-the-heart. I wish I can be someone like u when I have kids!

the person who said that was really mean. pls ignore that.

And I absolutely love ur photographs n the titles u give them! :) Will be coming back for more..


Anonymous said...

Wow...people just don't like us. You are a wonderful mother and a wonderful person. Maybe some just can't handle you're quirky (a.k.a great) parenting skills. Maybe some just do not like the fact that you're a smart cookie and you think for yourself and by doing so you instill those values in your children. Maybe you do suck. Who cares, I love you, you made my time at The Record one of the most memorable in my life and I'm sure you'll do the same for you Annabel and Sylus (I don't know if I spelled that right). At least they don't have me as a parent, I who didn't even graduate from a middle school journalism class and should be working at McDonald's...they're just jealous.


P.S. Let me know who said it and I'll make sure to chase her out the door of a restaurant one day with wine in my hands! I'm pretty good at that.

photomum said...

I know this is a little late, but I read your blog like....daily..or more. I LOVE your blog and do not think that you give parenting a bad name at all. Who ever said that is a jerk and (as many have already said) shouldn't be having children anyway. Eew.

You inspire me to look on the bright side of things with my own children/parenting...which is why I am obsessed with your blog. :) As writer/photgrapher wannabe mama with an almost teenager..(okay she is 9, but haven't you heard? 9 is the new 13!)7 year old and 10 month old...I need inspiration constantly!

You rock. Don't let the meanies get you down. :)


Renee said...

Your wonderful spirit post-children and new found inspiration in them is reason enough for me to believe I can procreate.
..sometimes I'm a little forward.

Mala said...

Hi S,

This is Mala in Delhi (though the statcounter probably shows up as Washington DC since I'm at work). I had a somewhat similar experience on Saturday night - a friend of my husband's said "You know we guys are thinking of biting the bullet and having a kid..but frankly looking at you guys isn't very inspiring".

I already knew she thinks we're totally uncool for spending evenings at home with our baby or going out to child-friendly restaurants rather than leaving him with grandparents and checking out the latest restaurants in town, so it wasn't a huge surprise..but still..I was just blinking in shock for a few seconds.

Your blog is awesome - I wish you would move to India for a while so I could get to meet the kids :-)