I have been a mom for a little over ten years now. In the last ten years I have messed up at this parenting thing more than I care to remember. I have also had my fair share of successes. If I am honest, it’s hard. It’s one of the hardest things I have ever done and I have a feeling that when my children are grown and have moved out of the house I will look back at this adventure with a mixture of joy, regret, and sadness that it’s over. I have often said parenting is one of the ugliest beautiful things you will ever do. It makes it harder when everyone has an opinion and you are constantly standing for your convictions….
Standing for your convictions
In the last ten years, ten, oh my goodness, a decade… My daughter is a full decade old. Ok, mini breakdown over. Moving on. In the last ten years I have heard tons of criticism on every parenting move I have every made. Spank. Don’t. Princesses. No Princesses. Curse. Never Curse. Force them to go to church. Don’t force your faith. Never yell. Whisper when mad. It goes on and on… You should put them in school. Homeschool forever. You get the idea.
I am going to share a few questions to ask yourself as you work to stand for your convictions.
Is it worth saying anything about?
This will be the first thing you want to look at before you do anything else. There are some people who think they mean well and will run their mouth. It can be better to just let them speak their peace and let it go than to engage them. The person this will usually apply to is either the person who is extremely set in their ways or someone who genuinely thinks they are doing right and sees nothing wrong.
Is it something you are passionate about?
There are things that we are confronted about that we are just passionate about. I have a few of those issues that I am very passionate about. I am very passionate about the right of a parent to make the best educational choice for their child whatever that looks like. (homeschool or not!) I am a huge believer in choosing your battles with children and will not over analyze every choice my kids make. (That would explain my son growing his hair out because he wants Legolas hair…) If it is something you are passionate about, decide how willing you are to stand for that but also remember that when you are passionate about something your emotions can sometimes color your discussions. Make sure you are respectful in the way you handle people.
Does it impact your kids?
One of the quickest ways to drive me absolutely insane is to criticize my parenting choices in front of my children. If someone is criticizing your parenting choices in front of your children either see if you can move the conversation or end it. That is not healthy for your children and you are more likely to react emotionally. (I know I am.) Do what you can to avoid a momma bear moment.
Is it a confront it situation?
Some situations don’t do well with a passive answer. There are comments and situations that require that you confront them. There is a polite and respectful way to do it but it is important that you stand up for yourself. You are the mom and you may not be perfect but you are doing a good job. There is a huge difference between encouraging you to do what is best for you and your children and condemning you and tearing you down. Find that balance and protect yourself and your children.
Will it build an insecurity in you that you don’t need?
Parenting is hard! SO SO HARD! Don’t get me wrong. It’s worth it. However, any mom who has ever dealt with a kid on oxygen, been puked on (not baby puke but big kid puke in public with no change of clothes), or had to deal with a tantrum in the middle of the store in front of everyone will admit it is hard. When we find ourselves in the trenches of this it can wear us down on a level that is beyond understanding. In situations like this, it is important to stand for your convictions. Not to do so, would be to admit that your deepest insecurities are true. That my friend, can not happen. Though it’s hard, you are not a failure. You may not always have it right but you don’t always have it wrong! You can do this!
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