Monday, September 9, 2013

How to Parent. Ha!

Judgment...our world is full of it.  Smart or not so much?  Attractive or unattractive?  Rich or poor?  And the big one that everybody seems to be talking about these days, a good parent or a bad parent?

In a month's time, we have been told by one that we are too hard on our children, and by another that we are too soft- that if we get rid of "his trashy behaviors", everything else will fall into place.  We have been stared at for ignoring our son as he threw one heck of a tantrum in his car seat.  And we've been stared at for trying anything to appease our son to avoid a tantrum.  Somebody always has an opinion when it comes to parenting.

I've read several articles lately focused on moms judging other moms.  I don't know what it is about us, but we all seem to feel the need to force express our opinion about how our way is better.  In reality, we are all, for the most part, doing our very best to raise our children to be healthy, happy, and well adjusted adults who will reach their full potential down the road.  Some choose to co-sleep and some are adamantly opposed.  Some practice tough love and some gravitate toward a more sensitive approach.  Some would argue that sending your child to preschool is a must; others believe preschool is a waste of precious time.  But here's the thing.  Every child is different.  Every family is unique.  We all have our own values, personalities, priorities, and opportunities.  Parenting is far from "one size fits all"...and that's okay.

For those who have yet to experience the joys (and trials) of parenthood: I've been there.  I thought I knew the exact formula for perfect parenting.  Then I became a parent.  Hello humility.  I don't blame you for giving me unsolicited and inexperienced advice; after all, I offered up heaps of advice (and made many a snarky comment) before becoming a parent myself.  But if you're reading this, just trust me when I say that it's not as easy as it may appear.  ;)

For us moms.  Can we agree to stop beating ourselves up because we aren't perfect?  We will make mistakes in parenting...everyday, but let's give ourselves a little grace in our imperfection?  Some days are easy, some days are hard; our job is to keep going, praying, learning and improving along the way.