Have you ever heard the saying, “How come anyone driving faster than you is a maniac, but anyone driving slower is an idiot?”
I used to drive long distances all the time. I got to really enjoy the ride. But what I also noticed is I was either passing, or being passed… and I never saw someone going the same speed as me. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the reason I never met anyone going my speed was because people going the same speed as me were staying the same relative distance away from me… we were traveling parallel to each other and never intersecting. So even though I knew I could only see the people that would speed by me, or the people I would leave behind – I knew the other drivers were out there. I could picture them in my head, and I was not alone at my speed.
This is my metaphor for parenting.
You see, it doesn’t matter ONE BIT what choice you make in your parenting spectrum; there will be those far more radical than you, and those that think you are far too radical yourself.
I realized this the other day when Ronan was spitting yogurt out after every bite. My instinct was to smack him on the mouth and tell him no, but I didn’t, instead I just took the yogurt away. When I did this, I pictured myself in a public area, and thought about the reaction of other parents. I KNOW there would be someone that would think to themselves, “I can’t believe she let her child get away with that. If that were MY son, I would have smacked him on the mouth!” And quite opposite of that, had I chosen to smack his mouth in punishment, there would be the parent that would be thinking, “I can’t believe she just smacked her child on the mouth. Who would hit their child over something so trivial? She could have just taken the yogurt away!”
And it’s this way of thinking that made me realize: it doesn’t matter what I choose to do, I will never make everyone happy. Instead, I just have to make sure I’m doing what I know is right. To be a mom, you don’t just have to be smart, loving, and patient; you also have to have thick skin. The mothers out there that would do exactly what I did? Chances are, I wont meet them easily, because they wont be the ones making waves. They’ll be the ones just like me, keeping their heads down, being proud of their choices, and accepting others for what they choose to do as well.
I know I write a lot of posts about parenting. It’s really on my mind all the time. I’ll try to lighten up a bit, but I thought this was a little too cool to not share.