Ever heard the saying, "opinions are like a$$holes, everyone has one"? Well sometimes I wish not everyone had one... an opinion that is. After multiple posts on Facebook by the same few individuals about their parenting philosophies, I'm beginning to think that I'm not raising Bella properly. Or am I?
Insecure people often feel the need to say and do things in order to rationalize their actions. I think this is especially true in the wild and wonderful world of parenting. As parents we are constantly questioning ourselves because we ultimately want what is best for our children. Questioning yourself is normal, I mean I question myself all the time. But the BIG difference is, I don't feel the need to post my insecurities on Facebook. If I'm proud of a decision I made, I don't immediately post it on Facebook for all my friends and family to see. If I'm unsure about something, I don't immediately post it on Facebook for feedback. I'm not looking for admiration or a pat on the back because knowing that Bella happy and healthy is good enough for me. I feel like when people post their opinions on Facebook, they're fishing for support... either that or they're trying to stir up drama. Either way, their motives aren't genuine and that's unfortunate.
We raise Bella the best way we know how. The "methods" we use can't be found in any book. We do what is in Bella's best interest, even if it doesn't always appear that way. We provide her with love and support no matter what. Bella never asked to be brought into this world and it's the responsibility of Ian and I, as her parents, to provide her with guidance.
5 Simple Parenting Rules (according to us)
1. Children need boundaries - Physical and mental boundaries are important in every day life. If we didn't have appropriate boundaries, then we would constantly be getting hurt.
2. Parents set the best examples - As parents we are responsible for setting an example for our children. We have to make a conscious decision to set a positive example because we are modeling behaviors we wish to see in our children.
3. Don't be judgmental - It's one thing to have an opinion, it's another to make people feel bad about not sharing that same opinion. If you're going to be "gung-ho" about a particular issue, please ensure you don't make others feel uncomfortable at the same time.
4. What works - Do what works for YOU and YOUR family, not what your best friend's cousin recommended or what some opinionated mom in your mom's group told you to do. If something works for you and your family, then go with it! As long as you're not breaking any laws or endangering anyone, it's probably okay. Change is more than okay because being a parent involves A LOT of trial and error. You're going to make mistakes, but how else will you learn? Mistakes aren't failures, they're simply life lessons. And stand confidently by your decision, because there will always be people who think you're wrong.
5. Take time for yourself - As a mother or a father, it's important to take a little "me" time every now and then. Personal burn out may lead to parental burn out or marital burn out. Take time to enjoy a moment for yourself and take time to enjoy a moment with your spouse.
The simple fact is... happiness and health come first and foremost. If you and your family are happy and healthy, then wonderful, you must be doing something right. And I am pleased to report that my family and I are very happy and very healthy, so I must be doing something right! Happy parenting!
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2