The following post was inspired by a conversation (the story and link to the blog are at the bottom). “If by “modern age” you mean Pinterest-guilt-inducing-judgmental-I-only-use-positive-parenting-therefore-I-am-always-right age…I agree.” Amber Perea mom extraordinaire.
I went to reply and instead turned it into todays blog! ‘Positive parenting’ is only positive if it comes from a place of love and understanding. Otherwise it’s ‘superiority parenting’. It is my own internal fears of being judged that make me want to say F*#K the positive.
When I feel I have failed or not lived up to my own unrealistic expectations then I want to scream at “them”. But “them” is really my own internal judgmental critic. My own EGO putting pressure on myself and feeling like a failure when I’m frustrated and overwhelmed by life.
Time out here. I did this before I was a parent. Becoming a parent just brought it all to the surface……. I had an aha moment. My kids were not doing this to me. I was like this and my kids just triggered what was already there. Now I have a choice. Do I heal and push through to rise to this challenge or do I stay stuck in vicious cycles that leave all of us feeling frustrated.
I have great intentions but sometimes lousy results. I did not know and was not prepared for motherhood. I knew all the stuff I didn’t want to do. I didn’t know what to put in it’s place. And I certainly was not prepared for all the stuff I didn’t know, I didn’t know, about all the stuff that was thrown at me, and which I did not expect.
What many books, and people said, seemed to come from either a place of total control over my children or buck wild ferrel parenting where the kids have all the control. Then I came across some books, and some people, that made sense and I started to feel confident enough to blaze my own trail.
Keep a calm state. Tune out what others think. Ignore the judgments. Like when I used to nurse and got cursed looks. Even worse bottle feeders JUDGED ME as though I’m nursing my children to make them feel bad – WTF!!!
I had a C-section and got judged by those that believe in natural birth. It was C-section or we both die. I let my children melt down in public and get judged for not having control. I make my children pick up after themselves and get judged for being too controlling. I let my children feel disappointment and get judged for being a hard ass. I cut my kids some slack and get judged for being too lax.
When they climb trees, I’m not raising little ladies. When they dress up like little ladies. I’m not letting them play. When my son wears his sisters clothes, I’m raising a gay boy. When my son plays golf, I’m too gender bias and killing his creative spirit! When they pee on the side of the road, and run in the yard naked, I’m a hippie. When I sign them up for ballet and dance, I’m a type-A dance mom.
So no matter what we do, or what side we are on, someone will be there to judge us. My reaction to their judgments is my own internal stuff. That is WHAT I NEED TO WORK ON, so I can clear it out of my way, to be there for my children.
This is my mantra for sanity: “What reaction can I have to bring joy to my life, share that joy with my children and enjoy their natural state of joy?” They don’t even have to work at a joyful state like me; I, nor society, have messed them all up yet!
It’s a super BIG challenge. Society, well meaning parents, my own fears and insecurities, and resistance to others ideas, bombard our little ‘joy’ bubble. I have learned to trust my gut (mostly) and I’m OPEN to learning. Learn I have. I have learned I don’t know SH$# about being a mother. Once I got over my fear of ‘not knowing’ and just embraced it, I noticed I become more confident. I also become ‘less prickly’ about others sharing their parenting experience. Sometimes they share experience and all I my EGO hears is “they are telling me how to do it or they are telling me I’m not doing it right”. That’s my own internal stuff again.
I am willing to learn. I want to learn. I needed to parent me first. I needed to grow up first. I learned to let go of that chip on my shoulder. I learned to clear out my own internal blocks so that I can be clear for my children. I mess up all the time. I am able to tell my children “MOMMY WAS WRONG”. “Say it again Mommy” is the response I hear! It’s so easy to say and I’m so thankful I can say it. YOU ARE RIGHT. I’m not afraid to say that either.
I realized that by just being open and less combative the world became a gentler place. Then I realized it was I, that become more gentle. Then I realized maybe all these judgments are coming from me and being mirrored back in the world. So I sought to understand “them” not judge “them”. Now my life is full of understanding. When I don’t vibe with ‘them’, then I just ignore them (with as little judgment and prickliness as possible). I still have my off days and my melts downs and my lost days and my doubts and fears. They come marching in and I see them now for what they are and as quickly as possible I send them marching back out. I get back to my mantra ~
“What reaction can I have to bring joy to my life, share that joy with my children and enjoy their natural state of joy?”
What’s your mantra?
The Inspiration for Today’s Post
Came across this great blog http://journeyintothespectrum.wordpress.com/. Amber has taken the journey into a new world when she became a mother of a “spectrum” child. That’s the new buzz word for anything that modern medicine can’t explain. She’s very funny, authentic and open. Her blog is so empowering because she puts it all out there. I can imagine her voice speaks for many parents who have not found the confidence to speak up yet. So many parents, are so afraid of being judged, or their child being labeled, that they isolate. I’m so serious, data driven, and analytical, her blog is like a light breeze to my soul, so I’ve become a follower. I posted on her blog, she responded to mine, when I started to reply back the response became so long I decided to blog it instead. Amber you are my inspiration! I hope we chat soon and keep the conversation going.