Parenthood – where one thing is important one day and the next day it is scientifically proven to screw up our kids, when we focus more about how others perceive our parenting than time spent actually parenting.
I am a mother, and I am a good one. I take care of my child emotionally, physically, and mentally in the best way I know how. I don’t spoil my son, but I treat him well and help to guide him through life. He always has food on the table that’s made with loving hands, he is dressed in clothes that are respectful and tasteful for his age, and he has everything he needs plus more. Am I delusional enough to think my son doesn’t make bad decisions sometimes? No, because, after all, he is just a kid. But I do my best every day to be a good mother in hopes of raising a good kid that will someday grow into a good man. I believe there are many other parents out there who are worse than me.
With that being said, I take great offense to those who insinuate that I’m a bad parent. I’ve been told that I’d make a better grandmother than a mother because I’m too passionate about being a good parent and sometimes I’m too excitable as I watch my kid play sports. I beam with pride when he makes good plays and I always try to teach him the value of being on a team. The woman who told me I’d be a better grandmother than a mother is practically raising her own grandchildren because her daughter is still going through a party phase. And I have corrected her on many occasions – I’m going to be a great grandmother as well as being the best mother I can be.
I’ve also been told I’m “doing it wrong,” from a childless career woman. The woman who told me that I’m “doing it wrong,” is now going to be living very close to family members who have a kid and I’m sure she’ll get her rude awakening soon enough. Karma can be one nasty bitch sometimes.
I’ve also been told that I shouldn’t cry in front of my child when something upsets me. Apparently, I’m doing that wrong too. It was an older generation family member who told me I need to suck it up and not show any emotions in front of my son when I am upset or sad. Just because they felt the need to keep secrets in their families and fake their emotions doesn’t mean I have to as well. I’m very open and honest with my child in order to establish a foundation of trust. When he gets older, I don’t want him to shut down emotionally because that’s what he was taught to do. I want him to trust me with whatever he goes through and feel free to come to me if he has no one else to talk to.
Parenting is subjective. No two kids are exactly the same. What works for one may not work for another. I have no advice for parents because what works for my son may not work for their kids. I am not perfect – none of us are – and I don’t pretend to be because that’s not something I want to teach my kid. I want him to understand that reality is not perfect, people are not perfect, and I’m doing the best that I can for him.
And that’s the life lesson I want to teach my son – do your best. At all times, do the very best that you can. If that makes me a shitty parent, I’ll gladly take on that role.