This is the topic I want to talk about today. AGAIN on a facebook page meant for parents of high school students ANOTHER “good intentioned” mother posted yet ANOTHER blog/article-
8 Things Kids Need to Do By Themselves Before They’re 13
Now, call me crazy. Call me whatever you want HOWEVER do NOT call me a bad mother just because I have not given my children these “8” things they in fact apparently need to do by themselves at the sweet age of 13.
I am a mother to 3 boys. My eldest is now 17 and if I do say so myself, I have done a pretty fabulous job of raising him. Ok, I am not quite finished (are we ever finished raising men? Be honest ladies?!), however considering all the things this mother is saying on her list of 8 things-I in fact did pretty much all of them. Ok, ok, I did in fact do ALL of them (no pretty much involved!). The last few years I have in fact stopped doing as much AND I have slowly but surely got my son to a point where I don’t have to take him by the hand and point to a washing machine when he asks where his shorts are. Some times I will do all the washing and some times I will do it because it simply suits me. Not because I am trying to in fact hinder my child’s progress.
Am I the ONLY one a little annoyed and the only one a bit sick of these mothers shaming other mothers because they want to be a different kind of Mum? What I guess gets me the most is that for some strange reason, every single mother has an opinion on the subject. I just don’t. The reason I don’t is because I simply do not care how you raise your children unless of course it directly effects me. That sounds selfish right? I feel it is more self preservation because IF I listened to all the do goodie mothers out there who think they are the first ones to come across this stuff, then I would be one emotionally messed up parent. I am far too busy actually parenting and living my life to sit around writing down all these tips from other parents-who lets face it, aint experts in the field. Even the experts get it wrong. This overwhelming feeling of failing is not just mine all the time, it is also ANY mothers on the planet who in fact wants to do a good job. There are mothers who just dont give a rats and thats ok, thats their path. Their childrens messed up adult lives will be their reward. Judgemental arent I? See? Its SO easy to just pass judgement on some ones lives. Its SO easy to sit behind a keyboard and spout stuff about parenting when really, you are no expert yourself. Anyone can be a blogger (yes, even me!), but the truth is, it is harder to in fact sit back and say nothing and get on with your week with your children. Its no different to diets. They shame us in to thinking by doing this diet, it will in fact change our lives. The truth is far simpler than that. Like parenting, there are millions of people out there who feel they are experts. I am no expert and I’ve been a parent for 17 years-my mother is no expert and she has been a parent 40 years. None of us are perfect parents because we are human. I just wish people would STOP trying to tell me how to raise my own children or shame me because I simply want my kids to eat a healthy breakfast before they go to school. I feel my kids have enough in this world to contend with plus a changing body in teenage years than to be thrown to the wolves to fend for themselves.
So, anyone reading this right now. Do me a favour? Go to your mirror. Tell yourself you are a WONDERFUL parent. STOP reading in to these ridiculous blogs on parenting (oh except mine now haha!), and take comfort in knowing you are not alone. I support you. I support each and every single one of you. Perhaps we could write a blog about “8 ways to stop shaming others parents because you feel you need to justify inadequacy” list instead! I know personally, I would enjoy that list a LOT better than feeling guilty because I choose to give my kids home made lunches.