Enough already!

April 17, 2012

It seems every other week there’s a new book telling us how wrong we’re raising our kids, how badly we feed them and how spoiled they are! Geez is it exhausting and frustrating! I assume like me - all moms are doing the best they can and every other week is a book/blog/newspaper article telling you its all wrong.
Its funny because I’ll tell my husband about the article/book/et al in a panicked voice and he’ll look at me like I’ve lost my mind. I know for a fact he doesn’t stress for one second about anything regarding the kids. His theory is -as long as they’re fed, loved and happy, that’s all that should matter.
How simple! Right?

Great Op-Ed on Huffington Post today about all the nonsense mom’s face. I copy and pasted the highlights:

1. Refuse to be judged. Reject social judgments about your family structure or how you choose to parent. By making no apologies and ignoring judgments, you’ll provide your kids with an example of strength, character and conviction.

Nicole and Michelle parent two boys now in their teens. When Conner was in first grade, he came home in tears. He’d been asked to draw a picture of his family, and had drawn himself alongside Nicole and Michelle. The teacher looked at it and said, “That’s not what I mean. Everybody has one mother and one father.” The other kids in the class argued that the picture really did represent Connor’s family, but the teacher wouldn’t listen. The kids understood what many adults do not: That Connor’s family was every bit as valid as a mother-father family.

2. Be yourself. The idea of the “perfect mom” is a myth. These days, we come in all shapes, sizes, forms and sexual orientations. As Anne Lamott writes in the foreword to Mothers Who Think, “Somewhere along the way, we figured out that normal is a setting on the dryer.” Note how high-profile moms like Edie Falco, Charlize Theron, Jodie Foster, Diane Keaton and Sandra Bullock are parenting sons and daughters without husbands. Yet despite their deviation from what’s been deemed a “normal” family pattern, the media routinely portray these women in a positive light. And they should. Parenting a child is a huge undertaking and should be applauded and celebrated. You’re no different.

3. Make time for what’s really important. The reality is that it’s how a family acts, not the way it’s made up, that determines whether a child succeeds or fails. Family priorities should include eating dinner together, spending more time together and talking with one another. It should include watching your kids play sports, perform in recitals or otherwise encouraging their interests. The number of times parents eat dinner with their kids is a better guide to how well they’ll turn out than the number or gender of the parents at the table.

4. Be your best you. The notion of the “working mom” is always a hot button topic, and the current discourse is no different. Even today, the term “working mother” carries a sniff of disapproval and feint praise — no one debates about “working fathers,” after all. Some Republicans would have us believe that only economically disadvantaged moms should work, while one Democratic pundit came under fire for asserting that well-off moms who choose to stay home with their kids are self-indulgent. But whether or not to pursue a career or hold a job outside of the home is a very personal and entirely individual decision that depends on many, many factors. And smart moms know that their personal achievements of any kind — from schooling to the workplace to right there at home — will help, not hinder, their kids.

5. Be active and thoughtful. Mothers who have thought ahead about being mothers and who line up other mothers as a support system are way ahead of the game. A good mother helps her child develop his or her full potential by encouraging growth, independence and a sense of adventure. A good mother talks to her kids. Over years of working with parents and children, I’ve found that most kids are willing to share endless amounts of information with me mainly because I’m willing to listen. Find out what disappoints, scares and hurts them. Be willing to question, learn and laugh. That’s how you’ll connect with your kids — and, just as importantly, how you’ll connect with yourself.

Posted by: Jessica Glorieux
Photo: Pinterest, source unknown