I am a good mom.
A really good mom.
I make mistakes. I don’t get it all right and I am proudly not Carol Brady.
But my kids are loved, cared for and spoiled in the right ways on a daily basis.
Lately, it seems, it is open season on motherhood for me. From Facebook comments to snide remarks from people in my life that have no idea what our life is like on a daily basis to strangers making passing observations – it is all enough to make me scream. The strange thing is… I don’t see why. Why do people judge others that they know nothing about?
Sure, I put my life out here on this site and I share even more on my Facebook page, but does that mean that I get to be told that my parenting skills are lacking just because they are not like someone else’s? Just because I laugh hysterically at my young daughter screaming at me to get up and play with her, does not mean I need to be ridiculed and told that I will pay for it later. Or that I need to be my kids parent, not their friend… a popular sentiment that has been so far taken out of context with overuse, it is almost laughable.
I am also not that mom that can not lay down any rules. My kids have very clear rules, a corner for time out, punishments that stick. I can not let them run wild… they will run all over me. I am confused by the non-schooling trend that is picking up steam. Confused by the ‘let the kids raise themselves’ lifestyle that I was lectured on the other day. In my personal opinion, kids need education, structure and discipline to thrive. But having an opinion does not mean I have the right to JUDGE!
I am somewhere in between, if I had to define my parenting style. I get no greater joy that laughter with my children. Whether is be a family activity or just sitting on the couch watching their latest skit. I harbor no guilt for laughing at them when they are testing their limits. I think it is funny. Partly because they are so impassioned about it… party because they have clearly forgotten who they are dealing with and have forgotten I am Queen Mommy. But mostly because that is the spontaneous, human reaction that I have. I would venture to guess that we have all had reactions others would not approve of. Done things that other’s would not understand. But to take one action and assume my parenting style is wrong is, well… WRONG!
I am my kids friend. They are my best friends. But I am also their parent. Their mom and their dad, raising them to be wonderful, amazing people who can contribute confidently to the world… and still laugh at themselves when they do something that may not be perfect.
Every time I get a compliment about how well behaved they are, how kind they are to others, how well mannered they are and how sweet they are to animals, the words of people who do not know me – or have the desire to get to know me – run through my head. I want to make the person complimenting them go back and share their thoughts on camera so I can say ‘SEE!! They are good kids!’ — despite my inability to fit my round parenting style into someone else’s square ideal.
Parenting is hard enough without standards being thrown on us that are completely unattainable. There is no perfect parent. There are parenting styles some of us would like to emulate. There are moms we look at and want to be like. There are times that we WISH we had those moms who seem to have it all together here to help us.
But there is no perfect parent. No ‘perfect’ parenting style that is better than any other. No judgement that will make me think there is.
And thank God for that.
Because if we all spent all of our time aiming to meet standards others put on us, we would miss what is right in front of us.