Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Don’t Judge Me!

Written by Rachel Morrow on . Posted in 3Moms Blog

parenting

Don’t judge me. Or the woman breastfeeding at the mall. Or the mom giving her newborn baby a bottle at the park. Or the dad whose three-year-old is still in diapers. Or the toddler that is using a binky. And yes, especially don’t judge the parent whose child is being louder than you would like (whether that be by crying, throwing a tantrum, or shrieking with excitement). Why? Because you don’t know their story, and you don’t know mine.

Here’s the thing:

I am always doing the best I can, and I know that you are too. I don’t ever start my day thinking, “Today, I’m just going to give parenting half of what I have. I’ll let my kids misbehave and cause a ruckus while I just sit back and relax.” Nope. Never happened and never going to. I start each day with a desire to keep my kids happy and healthy, and I always give it my all. I’m sure you do too.

Let me tell you a story:

The other day my family went out to eat. It was a casual dining restaurant that was full of people from every age group. My husband took my one-and-a-half-year-old son outside to go for a little walk so that I could finish my meal. When they came back in, my son saw me from across the restaurant and screamed with excitement (what can I say, he’s a momma’s boy). Of course, I smiled and reached my arms out for him.

And then I noticed that the entire population of the restaurant was staring at me. No, they weren’t smiling with fondness of how sweet it is that this little boy was so thrilled to see his mommy. They were glaring at me with looks full of judgment.

Their eyes said:

“How are you letting your child scream?”

 “You are a horrible mother.”

“Why aren’t you stopping his shriek?”

You know why? Because I don’t want my child – my happy, excited, unscathed-by-the-world child – to lose his delightfulness. I don’t want him to think that it’s not okay to show his emotions. And I am not about to teach him that he should make himself less happy to appease others.

When you see other parents out and about, and they aren’t doing things exactly as you would, know that they are doing the best they can. They have a reason for doing what they do. You don’t have to agree, but you should at least smile (or even ignore them!). Because the last thing any parent needs is degrading looks from strangers that make them feel about one inch tall.

AN OPEN LETTER TO MOMS OF GROWING CHILDREN

Written by Jennifer Quinn on . Posted in 3Moms Blog

An open letter to Moms of growing children

Dear Moms of Growing Children,

I write this letter to you as I complete day three of watching my 2 ½-year-old granddaughter and 11-month-old grandson (and I write it to moms because I don’t know what it feels like to be a dad, although, I am quite certain it is very similar – so Dads, welcome).

I finish the day with a familiar fatigue from years gone by.  Exhausted from head to toe, and still an entire house to clean so we can make sure and start the day off right tomorrow. 

I raised five children, starting with twins.  My youngest is now 17 years old, and while there is still plenty of parenting to be done, very little of it is physical.  It’s funny how, just as the memory of the pain of childbirth fades with time, so does the complete physical involvement of raising children. 

Tonight as I was cleaning up after dinner – the third one in three days – (every single night these kids want food!) I was reminded of how repetitive and monotonous the tasks of parenting can become.  If we are lucky, there is very little variance in the day-to-day activity of nurturing our young.  (Why lucky? Because boring is good.  Boring means nothing bad has happened.  Nothing tragic has happened.  Boring is good because life is going on as we intentionally set it in motion.)

But, boring is boring.  And exhausting. And seemingly meaningless.  I mean, how important can it be to make another pot of macaroni and cheese, or wash another load of laundry, or read the same book for the 5th time today, or change the sheets while allowing the little one to help even though it would be faster to just do it yourself?  And if you have more than one child, then seriously – How. Many. Times.  Do you have to break up a squabble, or tell them to quit hitting, or explain that when they say mean things it hurts feelings and we don’t hurt people we love.  

And forget about time to yourself, right? Because as soon as you get it, someone inevitably gets hurt and needs you RIGHT NOW.  There’s no scheduling the needs of children.  Shoot, it’s a good day when bath time and bedtime happen at the right times. 

Sure, you love your kids.  More than anything in the world.  And you wouldn’t change a thing just to have excess free time or a body that wasn’t exhausted at the end of the day or an energy tank that wasn’t depleted…but sometimes, you have to wonder…will this ever end? And is it even worth it?

I’m here to tell you the answers with a resounding YES and YES!

One day you will wake up and realize that you have so much time on your hands you don’t know what to do with it.  And you will wonder who you are and what YOU like to do. 

But make no mistake, the work you are doing, day in and day out, is the most important work in the world! Raising the next generation is arguably the most meaningful work a person can do.

Your child will take what you teach her in the monotonous moments of the daily grind and turn it into untold magic. 

You won’t know for years to come how the patience and unconditional love you showed your child during the boring days allowed him to understand his gifts and his path in this world.  

I am even willing to bet that your grown child will come back to you with a memory of something you said or did that made a very impactful influence on her life and you won’t even remember it.  But it’s that very thing that will be the springboard to her to fulfilling her destiny.

So, yes, trudge through the day in, day out, monotonous tasks – give thanks for the boring times – and stay very clear on the relevant importance of the grand work you are doing. 

In years to come, your children will always carry your love in their hearts – and that’s what will shape the world. 

Love,  

From a Mom who knows that it all goes by far too quickly

 

Love in their hearts -- Mom quote by Jennifer Quinn of 3Momstips.com

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