Parenting is no picnic. But total strangers seem to think you want their potato salad.
I’m about to go on a rant. You’ve been warned.
What is wrong with our world?
Do you know what it was like for our parents to raise us? Or their parent’s to raise them? Or their parents to raise them? And back and back and back since the dawn of time?! Ok, so, neither do I back that far…but the point is, for all of recent history, parenting has been the big gig.
It was the whole point of existing.
Becoming parents is what EVERYONE who was able did.
And yet, no one sat on some almighty judgement throne to tell them how to do it “right.” (And by today’s standard, “right” simply means, “any way except the way you are doing it.”)
They could spank their kids gently or take a belt or switch to them. No one judged.
They could eat whatever was available to them without being condemned.
Their kids could play in the mud or put in a full, hard day’s work without CPS getting called.
They could have early or late bedtimes, many or few toys, education in school or through life.
Parents back then could parent. And no one even thought to be glad that they were doing it – because it’s what you did.
Now days, we have such a slew of mixed messages, parents feel like they are overwhelmed, underwhelmed, underappreciated, and over praised. Get on any mommy blog (hey there!) and you will find articles about feeling any or all of those things. There are articles telling everyone how to do something better. There are articles telling everyone they are doing great.
Did our grandparents need the praise? Did they need the advice? Maybe. Maybe they did. But did their kids turn out so terrible without it??
Look at the state of our world. It appears to me that the more we intrude into everyone else’s business, the worse job we are doing as parents.
And who could blame us?!
“Breast is best.”
“Make sure your baby is always getting enough to eat. Better pump multiple times a day just to be sure.”
“Co-sleeping is the most natural and beautiful way to get your baby to sleep through the night.”
“Allowing your child to sleep in your bed is dangerous and should be considered a heinous crime.”
“Choose healthy snacks to help your children receive adequate nutrition.”
“Snacking will spoil a child’s appetite and keep them from getting the nutrition they need during meals.”
“Telling your child their gender and only allowing them to play with “gender appropriate” toys is limiting and can send them the wrong messages. Let them decide which gender they identify with.”
“Teach your children strong morals and values. Help them accept and love who they are.”
“Show your children affection and give them the attention they need.”
“Kissing your boy on the lips is inappropriate and sends wrong messages.” (If you missed it, look up Hilary Duff.)
I mean SERIOUSLY!! What. Is. Wrong with us?!? Can anyone function under these kinds of “guidelines” we are being bombarded with? I doubt it. Cause I can’t. I’ve been through several near meltdowns and a few actual meltdowns trying to parent “right” according to everything I read and it’s impossible.
Who doesn’t want to be a good parent? All of us who are reading these things and listening to these things are probably the very people who don’t need to! We are the parents with a strong desire to do it right and have great kids.
So here is what I say to you.
God made us the parents. God gave us talents and gifts and abilities and OUR CHILDREN. He didn’t send my sons to the reporter, the blogger, the person in the grocery store, the doctors, or anyone else who tries to tell us how to do our job. He sent them to me.
He trusts me. He chose me.
We might live in a messed up, over opinionated world but when I start feeling crazy and overwhelmed, I take a step back and remember that.
God chose me to parent these kids.
And he didn’t chose me to parent yours.
Go, do it your way. And anyone who wants to tell you to do it differently can go suck eggs.