There is no one right way to parent.
As a teacher/writer, PT, Infant Massage Instructor and mom of four, I’ve been talking about all things parenting under the sun for over a decade and after all this talking and listening to other moms, I’ve come to this conclusion:
There is ALOT of guilt involved in being mom.
And not only because we judge each other, but because we judge ourselves, which usually hurts worse.
There are just some some tough parenting moments, where loving and NOT judging ourselves can be hard:
- You walk into the next room for just a second and BOOM baby has rolled off the bed. Thud.
- You lose track of time and are late to pick your child up from school.
- The tooth was placed under the pillow with care by your child, only for them to awake to NOTHING!!! They search HIGH and low, but feeling crushed, nothing is found (until miraculously, minutes later a crisp dollar bill miraculously appears there in the sheets.
I’ve experienced every one of the above. Not my finest moments. But in those moments, and even now as I write about them, I get to love the parts of myself that led to them. In each I was distracted – about as far from being “present” to the present moment as one can get. In accepting these times that cause great guilt, I get to love the un-lovable in me. The distracted, multi-tasking, less than present, not so zen me. I get to breathe and remind myself that even despite my many flaws, I am enough.
The next time you are feeling the inevitable guilt associated with parenting, remember this, each of us have strengths and each of us have challenges, as do each of our children, and no matter how hard we work to avoid them, we ALL make mistakes.
Instead of judging, let’s take a deep breath when we feel the pull to criticise. Let’s let go of the right/wrong debates over sleep, nursing, working verse staying at home, baby wearing and more. Let’s listen to and encourage one another. Let’s tune in and trust our little ones combined with our intuition, experiences and knowledge to lead us in our parenting, trusting in the unique-ness of each person’s journey. Let’s talk about learning to love and trust ourselves for the parents we are and forgiving ourselves for the parents we are not.
Because if we can do this, then we can truly love… ourselves, one another AND our children.
Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy
Suzanne is a storyteller, pb and j crust eater, mom of twins plus two and five baby angels and the Creator of My Mommy Manual. She hopes you will join other open-minded and open-hearted mamas here so that together we can remind each other to look inside (ourselves!) for instructions.