The older I get, the more I tap into giving the benefit of the doubt. When facing situations, I try to separate my feelings from the feelings of the other person and recognize what we both have a right to do what is best. With parenting, I have taken a similar approach. I understand my responsibility and maturity versus what my one-year-old is capable of doing and needs help with. I recognize that she is totally dependent on us her parents, and notice my limitations as a human and how much I can wisely give her.
We live in a time and place of so much comfort and peace. Nurturing has taken a face of full support, regardless of the action, and social media and technology have given us the idea that we need to be 100% attentive at all times. Because we brought these children to the world, it proposes that we need to guide their every step and watch their every move in order to not risk even the thought of abandonment or rejection in their little brains while also giving them complete freedom. Yet, that does not reflect the world the parents live in.
Parents, we can’t carry this burden; we are not equipped for it. We can’t live with such high expectations because we will never meet them. These precious little ones need us and by being their parents we signed up for the job. We don’t stop being ourselves though. Our strengths and flaws don’t leave us. Just as they are learning about the world, so are we learning about our new world with them.
I will give you a great piece of evidence. Is there one specific method to raise a child that fits them all? Is there only one way to sleep train, teach them how to eat, help them be strong, talk to them about the tough things in life? No. Just look at all the choices you have in Amazon under parenting books. We are all going through this together. We try something, and if it does not work in this situation with this child, we try something else.
All these words come out of love. I love my parents, my in-laws, my baby. Our parents have done so much for us and have given us so much, just because they loved us. I want to do that for our little one too. I want to teach her that even though Mommy sets the rules, Mommy has to learn to live by them too. I parent her, and she helps me learn to be humble and not give up. In an article my sister-in-law shared, I gained the perspective that we should see children as our brothers and sisters in Christ.When we understand that they are first God’s and on loan to us, our perspective changes from hierarchical to communal, where we all are at same level. We take each day with a kinder approach, use authority to teach, not selfishly dictate, and reach out to forgiveness to get over our hurts and mistakes.
This healthy and hard balance has me advocating for parental sanity. It is such an investment to have children. It affects every area of your life. It is so sad to see parents who invest in making their children happy above making them strong and stable human beings. Both parties end up being hurt while living in their fantasy. There are other parents that our proud and won’t admit their failures to their children, causing a gap within the family. There are also the parents that don’t want or aren’t in the right state of mind to parent, and basically have orphans who grow up dealing with the rejection.
When we admit that there are so many events that we can handle, so many fits that we can tolerate, so many chores that we can do, we take a step to being a better parent. This is simply because we start seeing our limits and work on staying within them. No one wins when your cup is empty and all you can do is scream at everyone and everything that stands in your way. We are not meant to be perfect parents. Our children don’t need a lot or every breathing minute of our day. They need us present and close to them.