When I was pregnant with Abigail I spent as much time as I possibly could researching EVERYTHING. What was happening to my body, what was happening to her, what was the best car seat, what was the worst possible scenario; the list was endless. Then I’d go on to talk with people about what I had found and what ‘they’ had said. My brainy and sassy younger sister would look at me and ask, “Who are ‘they’?” (insert sass here). It used to annoy the CRAP out of me!!!
As I was sitting at the dinner table this past Friday evening, trying to get my daughter to talk about some issues that happened at school that day (to no avail), I started to panic that I was doing something wrong as a mom. Why wouldn’t she talk to me? How could I help her to open up? What was the right way to handle this (and so many other) situations? Once dinner was over and we hadn’t gotten any further with the details on her side of the story, I found myself doing what I think a lot of us tend to do today, reaching for my phone. In that moment I realized that I was picking up my phone to research ways on how to handle this situation, to make myself a ‘better’ mom. I was leaning on ‘them’ and looking for what ‘they’ think is the ‘right way’ to parent. Well, who the hell are ‘they’?????
The next morning, while pounding back my 3rd cup of coffee and scrolling through Pinterest looking for what the heck I was going to make for dinner, I kept coming across links like “Are you causing your toddler to misbehave?”, “5 ways to be a better mom” and “…everything you ACTUALLY need to know”. Again, the thought rolled through my head; who the hell are ‘they’ and why am I relying on ‘them’ to tell me how to parent my child?!!?!
Personally, I think every child should be born with a custom owner’s manual attached to their umbilical cord but we all know THAT isn’t happening any time soon! Parenting is friggin’ hard. It’s sticky and it’s messy and we as parents make A TON of mistakes!!!! It happens. And it takes a flippin’ army at times. But just like every child is different, I’m starting to realize that every parent should be allowed to be different as well. What works for one child doesn’t always work for another, right? So why are we turning to Pinterest and the Internet to tell us how to be like the mom 5 hours away?
I’ve talked to my daughter about not being able to help her if she doesn’t use her words. I’ve made sure that she knows I’m a safe place to go to when something is wrong. She’s smart and loves to have in-depth conversations about EVERYTHING, so we have them whenever she wants. Talking is healing. Talking is learning. There’s nothing I can think of that I’ve done ‘incorrectly’ to make my daughter not want to talk about the events that happened at school that day; so no Pinterest and no Internet. I dished out my mommy talk and handled it the way I knew was best for her and we moved on.
So from this point forth stop doubting yourself. You’re doing a great job all on your own. You’re a rock star and one hell of a mom (or dad). Everything will come together the way it’s supposed to!