There are many types of parenting styles.
I’ve discussed them before and the one that’s best is the one that works for you.
As I’ve walked along in my motherhood journey I’m discovering a few things about myself.
1) I am very much like my mother, and I like it.
2) I can overcome things I’ve struggled with, for my children.
3) I parent for my children, not for what others will think of me.
Often times we hear one of two things about our mothers. One is that people want to be nothing like their mothers. They want to take a completely different direction than the one with which they were raised. The other category, the one I fall into, is that I’ve come around to the notion that my mom tends to know what she’s talking about.
-When I dated that guy in HS and College, and the one after him and she said they were not a good fit and that I needed someone to compliment me. She was right.
-When she told me that I needed to get my rear in gear as I was the one in charge of my future. She was right.
-When she said Mimi-style blue eye shadow was definitely not my color. She was right.
Now, it’s taken me, and probably some of you, longer than it should have to realize the wisdom in our mother’s words. They’ve been there, they’ve lived it and they share it with us. It’s up to us to hear and take the pieces of their knowledge that apply to our lives.
As I grow into my role as a mother I realize that my values and my priorities align much more with those of my mother and those that helped to shape who I am.
I’ve briefly mentioned that I struggle with new things. When I say I struggle, I mean more specifically that I completely avoid them for fear of being unable to cope. I believe they call this a form of anxiety. I won’t take the Metro. I have a hard time in unknown places with loads of strangers. I also get nervous in the days prior to an event if I don’t know what to expect. I have control issues. I like to know what’s going to happen so I can plan for it and be prepared. Bye Bye spontaneity.
After having children I’ve been able to experience situations that are completely out of my control. For instance, both of their births. The true times I’ve been able to release all control of a situation and allow someone else to take the reigns.
I also have been able to participate in certain aspects that would have previously caused me stress or worry. Pumpkinville, Mommy-Blogger Conference-solo, Christmas Light Display, all of these events would have previously caused me to consider canceling them for the anxiety they brought. But, if I decided not to go, my children would miss out of exciting adventures, experiences and learning endeavors. Am I selfish enough to allow my feelings of unrest to detract from the full lives they could experience? No. I’m not. I’m bigger and stronger than my fear and I’m super excited each time I successfully participate in a new experience without issue. Someday I will ride the metro again… just maybe not today. Baby steps.
Parenting isn’t always popular. As in, the choices we make as parents are not always popular choices with our kids, our families or our peers. The decisions Hubs and I make as parents are in direct relation to the outcome we wish for our children. We do not parent in a way that will bring the notoriety or prestige of being known as good parents (I’m lucky if their clothes match and their food is definitely not presented in the shape of Big Ben or something. Go away Pinterest). We parent in a way that is specific to the needs of our growing and changing children. It may mean that we make unpopular choices due to schedules or their needs but in the end, we make these choices for the health, safety, happiness and development of the two most important people in our lives. We happen to be very lucky that though our decisions are not always in line with the plans of our families, they are very open and receptive to the needs of our little ones. I understand the guilt that comes from parenting between me and hubs. Imagine how much worse if someone else were to make you feel guilty. Yikes. Everyone does things differently and I believe the key to successful parenting is to surround yourself with positive peers.
My journey is just beginning and I’m sure I’ll continue to discover things about my style and values of parenting but in the meantime, I’m happy with where I’m headed.