Whoever said “parenting ain’t easy” hit the nail on the head. I’ve done some pretty epically challenging things in my day but NOTHING compares to trying to parent four very different children. Not to mention the huge age gap between the oldest and the twins (7 years)
This week alone I’ve googled “why my kid is lying, how to stop my kid from lying, and punishments for lying” I have read blog after blog, insight from this parenting expert and that, and I have also surprisingly said “the hell with it” Seriously there are about 500 different opinions out there. I asked myself a few questions after spending hours reading strangers blog post.
What makes them more qualified to parent than me?
Why am I handing over my power to a stranger to fix my problem?
Why don’t I trust myself to parent with authority and in a way that works best for our situation and family?
Any of this sound familiar? Do you spend late nights reading and scouring the net for the magic solution to your parenting problem? Ya, me too
In this digital age I think we’ve resorted to thinking there really is some magic solution or system out there that will solve our problem, we just have to find it. I’m not saying to live in a box and to never better yourself by searching for inspiring, insightful self help programs, books or blogs.
However, I am saying when it comes to parenting I don’t think there is a one size fits all approach. When our parents were raising us they didn’t have an endless stream of parenting experts to tell them “how to do it right” they relied on their friends and family and sought refuge in their village, the village that was actively helping to raise their children.
In many ways it was easier, think about it. Our parents trusted themselves more, relied on family more and sought refuge in close friendships. They also didn’t constantly feel like they were screwing up their children because they read 42 parenting blogs in a day about every topic from punishment and discipline to food and screen time.
For us, we have a digital village full of thousands of opinions and the mom shaming culture is alive and well, post a picture of your toddler doing just about anything and prepare for an onslaught of opinions about how “you’re doing it wrong” Everywhere we turn there is an article, instagram, fb post or podcast that helps us question each and every parenting decision that we’ve ever made.
Listen, there is no manual, there is only you and your best effort. There are days where you will feel like a failure and some days where you feel like you’ve rocked it and figure this parenting thing out. It’s a roller coster ride for sure.
As society pushes to acknowledge women for their intelligence, ingenuity, and strength I think we have to also focus on those aspects of mothers, in motherhood.
You are strong, you are capable and you do have the authority and power to parent in the best way you know how.
You are not a bad mom if you choose to allow your children to watch Tv, you are not a bad mom if you don’t buy all organic, you are not a bad mom if you choose to lay down the law and discipline from a place of mutual respect and authority.
It’s ok to trust yourself sometimes and look within for guidance instead of on the outside for a solution. Find that inner strength to trust in your own abilities and experiences to make the best possible decision for your family.