Parenting Is

January 10, 2012 by  
Filed under General

Growing up, I spent a lot a time around kids, and always took on the mothering role.  I was the one in the neighborhood who offered to watch your kids for free, just so I could tote them around everywhere.

As I got a little older, and eventually got married, having a family was one of the things that I knew was important to me.  When you don’t have kids you make observations about other people’s children, you think about how you might handle the situations that arrive.  And many of us, tout how we would never do that if it was our child.

Becoming a parent though, is a reality check.  You cross over to that other side, where you seemingly lose all of those past “if that was my kid” I would…. And suddenly you step into reality mode, where everything is new, and a huge learning process.  You start getting all sorts of advice on how other people did this or that with their kids and how it all should go, right down to the kid’s first tooth.  Pediatricians have advice, neighbors have advice, and you can find yourself getting lost in all these ideals of how it should go, making developmental comparisons, and worrying about some of the silliest things.

I quickly changed how I felt about a screaming kid in the grocery store, or a kid that decides to act up in the middle of dinner, because after becoming a parent you can relate.  Kids can just start misbehaving out of the blue and I sympathized rather than judged.

Soon, as a mother, I began to realize that this isn’t how parenting should be, well at least for my own children.  I realized something very important that parenting should be intuitive based on you relationship with your child.  There should be no rules, no guidelines, no standards.  I have found my struggles with potty training, sleeping etc to be less when I just do what feels right for my kids and for myself.  When I talk to family, they asks questions like “shouldn’t they being doing this?”  My reply is simply, I dunno, but it is ok, because they will eventually.

This is not to say that my parenting is lax, my children are asked to listen, to be respectful and I attempt to challenge their little brains as best as I can.  I tell them to brush their teeth, and I expect them to pick up toys (this doesnt always happen), and there are time outs.

When it came to potty training though, I became stressed out trying to potty train twins, to make them go potty like I wanted them to and feeling the inevitable pressure that by the time they were 3 if they were still wetting their pants, that I was a miserable failure and doing something wrong with my kids.  When will I move them to their own bed?  Are they doing this or that?  My mind became preoccupied with all of this stuff, and now realize, very useless stuff.

I realized that these were my kids and whatever our routine, whenever they potty trained, was ok with me.  And after I stopped obsessing about it, it happened on its own.  Both boys potty trained right around the age of four, they are five now and still wear pull ups to bed and yes they have accidents, am I worried, absolutely not.  Does it make me a lazy parent, I don’t believe it does.  My children are happy healthy and that is what matters.

We are all in such a rush for them to grow up and do things on some developmental chart that we lose track of that connection with our child.  I am also not saying to ignore something if you feel there is a problem with your child, but for little things about where they sleep, or if they are potty trained by some set time frame, you should just let your child tell you.  Less stress equals happier parents and children.

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27 Responses to “Parenting Is”
  1. Donna says:

    I think because I was older when I had my son, I haven’t taken one moment for granted. I know how fast they grow up and those moments are gone forever. So I hang onto every one of them for as long as I can.

  2. Love this post. Thank you

  3. Jennifer says:

    great post. I have to keep reminded myself to not rush my youngest to grow up and do things quicker than she is ready.

  4. Marcie W. says:

    SO very true. Sometimes you just have to savor every moment, even the tougher ones.

  5. So well said! Thanks for the reality check :)

  6. Great post. Ihave to watch myself because my kids known just what buttons to push and it’s so easy to resort to voice raising and that really accomplishes nothing.

  7. Tammy says:

    Advice can be good, but in the end, it’s your family. Your children.

  8. Penelope says:

    I used to judge parents with screaming kids too…until I became one, lol.

  9. Mine too @Toni! It’s like they do what they know will make me crazy.

  10. Great post, those younger years fly by, mine are 27, 24 and 21.. :-)

  11. Great post! We all think we know what we will do, but reality is different.

  12. Courtney says:

    I can’t wait to be there for our little one.. through everything!

  13. Karen says:

    Great post! No one knows until they become a parent!

  14. Amy says:

    Great post! We all need to remember what is important.

  15. Lolo says:

    Great post. I believe that it is important not to rush kids too. They will get it when they are ready!

  16. It’s totally different when you’re in the middle of it yourself, and every single child is different!

  17. Louise says:

    HARD. Yep such a great post!

  18. I so agree and with four children I certainly have learned that some children just pick up on things quicker than others and everyone learns at their own pace.
    even parents

  19. Amen!! Let them all just grow at their own pace, right?

  20. Amy says:

    This is me to a T. It’s funny how your view shifts with parenthood.

  21. Kenda says:

    I know I rushed through my first child – I was so young when I had him. And a single mother on top of it; I rarely had free time. Now, 12 years after (and with a supportive husband), I had my second and I’m definitely taking more time for the little things.

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