Thursday, April 4, 2013

Time for Gratitude - I'm a Bad Parent

Do you ever feel judged as a parent?

I do.

It also seems like whenever I'm around people that I feel judged by, the kids will always be more whiny/obstinate/clingy/disobedient/etc. I don't know why. Maybe I'm just more sensitive to it and they actually aren't acting out more than normal - it just seems like it.

I usually feel like they think I don't discipline enough or at the right times. I feel like they think I hold and comfort the kids more than I should, that I "coddle" them and allow them to walk all over me.

It doesn't matter how often I hear that I'm doing a good job at this whole mothering thing, or how often I hear how well behaved and well adjusted the kids are. I still feel judged.

I had decided a long time ago - even before we had kids - that:

  • I would be the type of mommy that holds, kisses and snuggles. All.the.time. 
  • I also wanted to be very careful of what I spoke over the kids. As the Bible says, the power of life and death is in the tongue. I know how powerful words can be, and whether or not the kids can hear me when I say things, I'm *very* careful what I say about them out loud. 
  • I never wanted to be a mom who answers questions with "just because". 
  • I was set on being a mom who chooses her battles. After all - is it really *that* big of a deal that the kids want to wear a swimsuit around the house when it's 40 below zero outside?

Most of these things I have stuck to pretty well - with some exceptions, of course.

  • I do hold, kiss and snuggle. A lot. No, it's not all the time like I planned, but it is a lot.
  • I am careful of what I speak over them, though I of course have slip-ups. 
  • There are some questions that have no other answer than "just because". Period. 
  • I do choose my battles, but since we live in a drafty old house, I do make them put actual clothes on in the winter. Most of the time.

One of the most important things, though, I think, is nurturing who they are. Nurturing their gifts and letting them lead me. I shouldn't be telling them who to be and "toughening them up". I feel like it's very important to be honest with them, and to let them chose their own path with just my guidance - not my control. That's what I'm here for, really. To be a guide for them. To train them in what they will need to succeed in life and to be who they are and to use their gifts to their fullest potential.

I'm learning as I go and making lot's of mistakes along the way. But it's my job to be their protector, comforter, and guide.

So, I'm going to nurture Porter's tender heart and his need to be with me almost constantly. I'm going to answer Vienna's gazillion questions and hopefully only rarely have to answer "just because". I'm going to laugh at Porter's silliness and also help him to understand when it's appropriate to be serious. And I'm going to allow and encourage Vienna to be her beautiful creative self in everything she does. I'm also going to hold them, "coddle" them, and love on them as much as possible. Because I know it will all be over too soon.

If that makes me a bad parent because I don't discipline enough or toughen them up enough, then I guess I'm thankful that I'm a bad parent.