I love the internet, most days. I spend
too much time on Pinterest and Facebook. I get caught up on the news, read business email, talk to the hubs. But it seems like more and more people are starting to argue about parenting. I read two articles this week that I thought were both insightful about raising your kids. Both talking about how and what you should be doing with your kids. Both very different approaches. Both written by loving moms. I was happy to read the articles and move on. But I made the mistake of scrolling down to the comment section. To put it bluntly blaming and name calling abound. People seem to find the fact that we are dealing with people through a screen and not face to face a free pass to say whatever you want. I’m all for free speech, but I also think you should always be civil. (I grew up with a Grammy from England, we had tea and cookies often)
Every parent have a different idea about how to raise kids. Even some non parents weigh in. And it seems to get nasty quick. Someone always thinks they have it figured out better than someone else or someone is offended that someone thinks they have it figured out better than them. Just click any Facebook link with more than 10 comments. And to be honest I’ve been dragged into it too. I remember being called a “special snow flake” in a not so nice way because I voiced my concerns about an image online. Now was I over reacting or were they? Or were we both?
But lets think about this for a minute. What makes a good parent? Is it sticking to your guns no matter how loud the tantrum? Is it making sure your child succeeds at all cost to yourself? Or is it simpler then that? I don’t have the answer. Sorry. I have two boys and live in the CrossFit world and know farmers. I can tell you what seems to work for us, this week. But if you have a shy child and full time job and can only shop in a grocery store, we might not do the same things. But I know we both do the best we can.
What I can say is it’s a constant balancing act. It’s finding good in the bad and funny in the mad. It’s deep breaths after a full blow battle to get dressed. It’s kisses at 2am after early bed time for not listening all day. It’s not apologizing to other parents for your parenting style. It’s teaching your kids to brush their teeth and brushing their hair for them. It’s falling and getting up and falling again and getting back up. It’s strong coffee at 6:02am. It’s a good glass of wine at 8:02pm.
What I can tell you is you’re doing great! Yes you!! Reading this right now. No matter what happened yesterday. No matter how much you raised your voice or gave in to your tiny tyrants demands. You’re doing great. You know you love your child. Even if they make you want to run screaming into the other room, or state. It doesn’t make us bad parents. Trust me I asked hubs. Often.
Can we, as a society, remove the need to compare each other? Probably not. We’re hard wired to seek out the best option for the survival of the species. And that used to mean looking within our own village for the best genetic markers. Not criticizing people half way around the world. Can we try to be more understanding and accepting of different methods of raising kids? I think so. Do we need to present the perfect version of our lives when out and about? Can we be ok without looking at a mom (or dad) and thinking “I would never do that!” with the roll of the eyes? But technology changed faster then we could evolve. That word by the way, evolve, can’t spell it without love.
Maybe we can all try a simple experiment. Next time you see a parent trying their best or having a hard time say “You’re doing great!” Try not to offer advice for what you think would be best. Avoid commenting with your friends with quick side glances. Just take a moment and see them for who they are. Parents trying to do their best in their situation. You might not agree or like what they do. But if they are raising their kids with love and care they are doing what you are doing. So let’s take down these filters and admit we’re all in this together.
“Be sure to taste those words before you spit them out.”
And for the record we are still cleaning up the “powder incident“.
How do you find balance? What’s one trick you want to share with us?