The month of December was a supremely awesome whirlwind of festive in my face. Topping off 2014, I’ve spent the past two weeks on SAHMcation with Miles, and the time together has been phenomenal. Having Kid Two on the way really brings a greater appreciation to the time you have with Kid One, and we’ve been appreciating the hell out of life these past few months.
With the holiday season comes lots of time with others: friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, neighbors, strangers you meet at Publix. Something I’ve noticed more, probably because we’re like really in the Parents Club now, is the inquiring minds of these others. Questions about parenting styles and methods are common in most of our circles, which is totally fine, since most of you know I love nothing more than to share my opinion. But something else I’ve noticed is the intent behind the question; most genuinely want to know how or why we do something, or what has worked best for us. Others seem to ask with their opposing view lying in wait, ready to begin the debate.
Here’s the deal: I’m an oversharer, but with good intentions. If you ask, it’s because I think you want to know, not because you want to argue. Our choice may be different from yours, and that’s okay, because only the parents know what is best for their children and families.
Over the past four weeks, I’ve been asked about potty training (nope, we haven’t started), schedules (yes, we live by the schedule), spanking (nope, we don’t believe in spanking) and vegetables (veggie pasta for life). Most who ask are parents of young children, and it’s good discussion for us, as well as enlightening to hear alternate points of view in some cases. But there are a handful who ask with the anticipation of my response, because they want to argue.
Just like a nose or bellybutton, everyone has an opinion. But your opinion doesn’t negate our parenting choice, and I would never vocalize my own thoughts about your style to your face (to my husband’s face, yes, but we’re allowed to talk about other parents, it’s a Club rule).
Parenting is, in my son’s words, “SO BIG.” It’s monumental. I was talking with my husband the other night, after coming to the revelation that not only are we teaching Miles to hold hands when crossing the street so he isn’t hit by a car, but we must also teach him why he doesn’t want to be hit by one of those large, fascinating, rolling machines. Do you know why you don’t want to be hit by a car? Of course you do, you’re an adult. Truth: toddlers do not. He has no concept of what that car will do to him. The depth of teaching is far greater than some people realize or remember. When you come to understand the importance of what we do each and every day, a deep respect is felt for all parents. We deserve a hell of a lot of respect.
Please keep that in mind the next time you want to ask about potties (we’re waiting until Miles is ready, respect that) or spanking (we believe in education and discussion, respect that) or vegetables (we accept what Miles will and will not eat this week, respect that) or schedules (we live by the schedule 99.9% of the time and you’d better respect that).
To quote a Stephen King book I’m currently reading, “Parenting is the ultimate ‘hum a few bars and I’ll figure it out’ routines…” Yes, absolutely. We’re flying by the seat of our pants quite a bit, especially us first timers, learning as we go. Know that we’re putting the well-being of our child first, and even though you may not believe it, we do know what’s best for our family. To question or give an opinion from a place of negativity is unnecessary, and will only be met with some sort of immature response from me (duh).
(I feel like I owe Aretha some back royalties for broaching the topic of respect so frequently)
Back this week with regularly scheduled nonsense and a recap of 2014, confirming my sanity level is low. We’ll try to keep the sappy stuff to a minimum and the poop stories to a maximum. Promise.
Word to your motha,