I am a good mom, but I am not a perfect one. Motherhood has made me a better person, but therein lies the problem–I am not innately the best person, much less a perfect one. I firmly believe that parenting is not about making the right choice, it’s about making the best choice in that moment, for that moment. I believe this because I think there are a lot of choices that can be right or wrong depending on your situation, your child, and your moment.
Well, here they are–the seven choices I make every day that people complain about.
1. I don’t just let J help with Cub, I made it part of his daily responsibilities.
I know these two will go through phases where they aren’t friends, but I want J to understand that not getting along, not being friends doesn’t change his role as big brother. It is important to me that he knows it is his responsibility to look after the little ones. It is his job to be the person they can turn to-no matter what. Regardless of how it makes other people feel, this is one choice I would never change.
2. I rarely let the kids get messy.
Squishy freaks me out. Enough said.
3. I use time out.
Some people say it’s ineffective. I say, it’s a much-needed break for both the kids and me to calm down.
4. I hover.
“Overprotective,” “helicopter mom,” “strict.” These are just some of the things I’ve been called. Deciding to homeschool only cemented that belief in my critics’ minds. I guess it does seem extreme to pull a kid out of school over the mismanagement of a moderate allergy, but it isn’t. And as far as being strict, I do expect even more of my kids when we are in public or in some one else’s home, but that’s how I was raised. I know that when my parents were told how polite I was how or how well-behaved that it not only made them happy, but it made me feel proud too. I want that standard for my kids.
5. We veg out in front of the TV.
Sometimes for a whole day. (*Gasp*)
6. I set the bar high.
Kids are often capable of more than we give them credit for. Setting the bar high lets them know that I expect their best. This only works because I also take care to learn the appropriate mental, emotional, and physical limits for their ages. I don’t expect more than they are capable of, but I do want them to reach for that “best” every time.
7. I don’t let them whine.
I have actually said to the kids, “I don’t care why you’re crying. Do it in your room.” Keep in mind, this is only used when I know they have nothing to be whining about.
There you have it. I also do things like breastfeed, cloth diaper and let my kids cry themselves to sleep (when they’re throwing a fit). I answer difficult questions as honestly as possible for their age. We don’t do Santa, etc. I would never, ever, ever let the kids co-sleep. (If they are sick, I’m happy to sit up on the couch with them. If they are sad or scared, I will comfort them in their room, but my bed is for me and my husband. It’s the only precious rectangle of space we can claim as ours.) I admit to my kids when I’ve made a mistake and I apologize.
Here’s what’s great though–I don’t think you have to parent like me to be a good parent.
What are some things you face criticism for? Does it make you reconsider?