When my boys were bitty little things, I was very active in mom groups. They were my saving grace when it came to getting out of the house with an 17 month old and a newborn and then later when I had another newborn while my older two were 3 and 2.
We let the kids play and we chatted, relishing the adult conversation.
Those girls were my friends and yet (as will always happen when you get a group of people together), we didn’t agree on all areas of parenting.
It never caused any rifts in our group, though it might have caused some whispers behind backs (or so I assume).
But back then, those differences did make me question what I was doing. If every body else was doing something different than I was, was it because they knew better than I did? Should I reconsider my stance? Or, if I knew that what I was doing was right for my kids, I felt this need to justify and overexplain my reasons or sometimes be apologetic or hesitant about letting those moms know that I did something different.
I do miss some of those friendships (I’ve since moved away and it’s hard to be the only one who isn’t there… Facebook can’t compete with IRL moms’ nights out).
But I don’t miss that insecurity I felt about my parenting when it fell outside what others were doing.
It’s not that now I have my shit together and know what I’m doing when it comes to parenting. There’s still so much trial and error. And I am open to listening to other parenting methods and values- it helps me find something new to try when what I’m doing isn’t working.
Yet now, I don’t worry if I’m doing things differently. I know that every family is different, every child is different, every situation is different.
I don’t feel like I need to justify my parenting decisions to someone else or be apologetic about them.
It’s more of a live and let live attitude.
I’ve realized that those other moms aren’t parenting experts or experts on my children. Much the same way that I am not a parenting expert, either- I’ll happily talk or write about parenting choices I’ve made, but it’s just my opinion, not voiced as what I think everyone else should do.
Maybe it’s being more accepting as I’ve gotten older or call it more confidence. Or maybe it’s realizing that worrying about how someone else is parenting or arguing about it… is all such a big waste of time.
Click if you want to find out more about Pour Your Heart Out. Remember, it’s about what you want to pour out: it’s personal, so there isn’t an assigned topic. It’s also about being supportive of others who are sharing: so visit other linkers and be kind with your comments. Linking up? Please visit at least two of the linkers and show them some support in the form of a comment or a share!