Happy Monday, loves!
I hope that you enjoyed a wonderful weekend with your friends and family. My role as the Royal Superkiddo Social Secretary, Chauffeur, and Cheerleader resumed, and I am completely worn out from all of his events! How on earth do moms with multiple kids juggle all of the items on their kids’ schedules? The amount of running around last weekend around can only be described as NUTS.
Do you make parenting decisions that cause others to ask if you’re nuts? Are your kids involved in practically everything? Do you bend over backwards for your kids’ happiness, and forget about your own? Parenting can be quite the juggling act, and everyone around us – parents or not – will offer opinions. How do we know which decisions to make? What if our parenting choices are unpopular?
My husband and I frequently make choices that garner less than supportive phrases from some of the people we know. For example, when it was time to select a school for Superkiddo, everyone offered their expert opinions. He was absolutely miserable in one school, and tested into another. Supporters of both schools declared that these institutions were the absolute best that our region has to offer. Why on earth would we move him to an entirely different location? We frequently heard “are you nuts” from everyone from family to school administrators, but in the end, we had to trust that we knew what was best for our kid. And we were right. The story is much longer, and filled with far too many tearful moments to write, but we simply acted as parents, with the best interests of our child in mind.
Some parenting decisions are tough, and others should be simple, or should be seen as common sense. Our area recently experienced lower than normal temperatures. We never saw the ice or snow that plagued other regions, but it was clearly cold enough for proper winter clothing. I noticed that a kid had on shorts and flip-flops, when the high temperature for the day was 30 degrees. The mom said to me, “I cannot force him to wear long pants or shoes; he just loves shorts and flip-flops.” She then complained that he had been sick for several weeks, and they had to alter their vacation plans. I’ll pause for you to read her statement again. I couldn’t stop myself…I just had to ask her “ARE YOU NUTS?!?” The kid is 7, SEVEN, years old, and you’re allowing him to make potentially harmful clothing choices? Who is the parent in this equation? There are times when we have to take a stand, even against a 7-year-old, to do what is right. Ok, so I am guilty of barging in with unsolicited parenting advice. Oops.
Some parenting choices are difficult, and the answers aren’t fully known until we embark upon a different path. Other decisions are just as simple as common sense – – like proper shoes in inclement weather. There are so many gray areas when it comes to parenting, and everyone (and their mama!) has an opinion on what we should do. It can be quite the challenge to navigate the perilous waters of raising children. So, what do we do?
How NOT to Go Nuts with Parenting:
1. Keep the faith. Unless you’re severely deficient in mental, emotional, and social capacities, you are the best judge of what should happen with your children. Raise them in the manner that you believe. We are a Christian household, so in our case, we seek godly counsel for our choices. Our faith has clear guidelines for our lives, and we try to instill those ideals into our parenting.
2. You are not an island. When it comes to our own parents, some of us had the real life replicas of June Cleaver or Claire Huxtable, and others had Lynetta Gordon or Victoria Grayson (go ahead and google them, youngin’s lol). When we cannot look to our own parents for guidance, there are others within our village who can perhaps speak wisdom into our situations. It is perfectly okay to send up flares for help, and accept insight from other parents. Build a community of moms (and dads) that you trust to fearlessly love you, tell you the truth, and support you as you parent your children.
3. Retreat. No, I am not saying that you should wave a white flag, and run for the hills! Take time to refresh, release, and renew. You cannot effectively parent if you are worn out, and at the end of your rope. Remember your health and fitness, and keep your promises to pamper yourself. A simple afternoon alone, or with your spouse, can do wonders. (Don’t forget to tip the babysitter well!)
There are so many parenting resources available (Love and Logic is one of my favorites), so none of us should ever really have to say “I don’t know what to do” repeatedly. I hope that you will find your village of wise counsel, and take the time to strengthen yourself, so that you will not have a week of going nuts while parenting 🙂
I look forward to sharing more with you this week.
Until next time,