I’m tired of it. Honestly and truly tired of the horrible sanctimonious BS culture that has developed around parenting. So much judgement. So much criticism. So little kindness or support for everyone who’s just doing the best they can. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about why it’s happening and why I, too, have fallen prey to being judgmental from time to time.
I know how I feel about my kids. I have to assume that every parent feels the same way. It’s the driving force behind everything we do and it’s because of how we feel that we take our decisions so seriously. If you’re like me, we’ve put a lot of thought into every aspect of parenting our kids. When someone doesn’t do things our way, it can seem like a right vs. wrong situation that makes us feel defensive because of how personal those choices are. Am I not making the right choice? Do they think my choice is wrong? Do they think I’m not a good a parent? Am I not as good a parent as I thought? Normally, I couldn’t care less about what someone else does or thinks. But when it comes to my children, I don’t just want to feel like I’m a good parent. I need to feel like I’m making the right choices because I only want what’s best for them. I think everyone does. And therein lies the root of the problem.
After I figured out why and what I was feeling, I decided to assess parenting differences in a more logical, rational way. I’m trying to look at them like hairstyle choices. You laugh, but it’s true. Both are extremely personal. Both are things that might work for one person but not another. I can look at another person’s hair and wonder if I should try it. Other times I know immediately that it’s not my style. In neither of those instances do I feel any negative emotional response, it’s more curiosity than anything else. I don’t feel wrong for choosing to do my hair differently than another person and I’m quite certain they don’t feel that way either. When I apply this same type of thinking to parenting, I feel a weight lift off my chest. It’s lovely and, more importantly, it’s liberating.
Really, as long as children are safe and treated with love, kindness, dignity and respect, we need to step back and give moms some breathing space. It’s time for a parenting paradigm shift. My child is my choice, that I know for darn sure. We’re all just doing the best we can and it’s time that we all start to respect #yourchildyourchoice and spread some mom-love. There are lots of days I could really use some more of that. And while you’re at it, let me know what I should do with my kids’ hair. Poor things, I really suck at doing hair.