Parents. I want to tell you something. You know what you’re doing. I believe in your own parental instincts. I know you know what to do.
I just felt like this needed to be said. Because everywhere I turn willy nilly, I see articles with “10 things you shouldn’t say” or “10 mistakes you are making” or “10 ways you are scarring your children for life and they will never forgive you no matter how much therapy they will go through”
You are better than this fear-mongering. I thought you might just need to hear that.
I’ll be honest. I don’t read those articles. Because truthfully, I am aware of EACH AND EVERY MISTAKE I MAKE. And I beat myself up for them on my own time, thank you very much.
But those mistakes are not based on an internet article, or a magazine, any therapist or teacher, or even whatever my great aunt Magdalena might think about how I’m raising my child. No. I base these mistakes on what my CHILD and my HUSBAND thinks—because in the grand scheme of things parental, these are the only opinions that matter.
Now, I think it goes without saying that I am NOT talking about things like abuse. Because OBVS, when it comes to hurting a child, EVERYONE’S opinion matters. That’s why we have laws. But those parenting articles aren’t talking about that, and we know it.
No. They are talking about food, and sleep, and how we “entertain” our kids. They talk about being strict, or not strict. They talk about schedules or free range parenting. In fact they talk about every damn aspect of parenting—so much so that if you read it all you would be in the same damn place you were when your lil larvae popped into the world. KNOWING NOTHING AND EVERYTHING.
Look. We are grown. And being grown means we get to make our own decisions, AND MISTAKES. You have permission to make mistakes. In fact, I would step out on a limb here and say the mistakes are more important. As long as you learn from them. But there is no way you’ll ever be a perfect parent. At some point you will disappoint your kid—because you are human. And you know what? They learn from that too. Any person you know that feels they have the best damned parents EVER, can probably tell you with distinct clarity the moment they learned that their parents were HUMAN. That’s the beauty of all of this: you all get to learn together.
I don’t want my kid to worship me. I don’t want him to put me on a pedestal as the perfect mom. What I do want him to see is that I tried my very best, that I tried to act with honesty and integrity when it comes to him, and that I am a bastion of support whenever he needs it. That I respect who he is, and let him grow into that.
I do that by listening to my gut, keeping in tune with my son and husband, and learning from my mistakes. And if i have questions, I ask. And I don’t read articles meant to make me feel like a failure from the get go.
Everything else—the feeding, the activities, the electronics, ALL OF IT, is subject to our current environment and situation, and is REALLY no one else’s damn business. Yeah, I may judge other parents —but you know what? That’s MY own weakness of character, and has nothing to do with how you parent, but rather how petty I can be. And I own that 100%.
So parents, just BE. Listen to your inner goddess, or instinct, or even the spirit of you great aunt—but I challenge you to let the decisions you make be YOURS, based on your own knowledge and experience, (with a care for the safety welfare of those around you, natch). Remember that people who write articles are trying to get people to read their stuff. And that some of them are more concerned with ratings and links than they are about common sense and trust. Moderation and common sense hardly attract advertisers or followers. (if it did, i think our politicians would be A LOT different—but that’s another subject altogether, right?)
Because the more we treat adults like ADULTS, the more those who are falling short will rise to the level of expectation. I believe that more than anything i know.
And for the record, i don’t care about shares and link backs and the number of people who support this page. I’ve never been a big name with tons of followers, and i doubt that will change any time soon. I just want at least one person—any person—to know that someone out there trusts that they are a good parent, whether your kids eat hot dogs every day or is watching You –Tube right now (like mine). You know. And you’ve got this. Continue to grow!