My husband is a very wise man.
The other day he told me this:
There are some parenting decisions that we have control over, but then there are some that we don’t.
We had been having a heated discussion over a comment that had greatly offended me (sidenote: offending me is as easy as popping a balloon with a sharp tack, so this type of conversation happens all the time in our household).
The comment came from an online forum after I posted a question in regard to my son’s slow weight gain. He ‘s not even on the charts and I feel like I am spending hours upon hours every day trying to get him there. The person wasn’t trying to be rude, but her suggestion was for me to start eating some fatty foods. She said if I did that, my son would chunk up just like her chunky baby (and she posted a picture for bragging rights, too). Now, I believe that her suggestion was heartfelt and she truly through she was helping, but her comment implied that if only I did something different, the problem would suddenly be solved.
But, unfortunately, that is not always how parenting works.
You see…there are some decisions that we as parents have a decent amount of control over. Things like when our child eats a meal, when we haul them to the store, what our children are wearing, and the devices or toys that our children are playing with.
But then there are some things that we have absolutely no control over. Things like the color of their hair, their size, their strengths and weaknesses and their personality.
Of course, there is a fine line between the things described above. I am not naive enough to not know that some parents do not have control over the outfit that their daughter picked out, and that some aspects of parenting can really impact personality.
However, my point is this: we as parents can’t control every single piece of our children.
If we have a beautiful, smart and well-adjusted child, we should be thankful. Yes, I am sure there was much hard work put into raising that child. But that doesn’t mean that hard work didn’t go into raising the other child who is not exactly beautiful, smart and well-adjusted.
And my husband is right: sometimes its not all because of you.
And sometimes, it’s not me, either.
You might have eaten an excellent diet and therefore your child chunked right up and topped the growth charts, with great praise from relatives, spouses and doctors.
But I have also been eating the right diet and we are still struggling to get onto the growth charts.
It’s not you; but it’s not me, either.
I might have a child who is extremely well behaved in the store. I’m proud of this fact because I have worked long and hard to train her to how to respond to different situations and I have a purse full of tricks to keep her entertained.
You, on the other hand have an even bigger bag full of tricks and have taken endless trips to the store to practice appropriate behavior, but the result is still the same: epic meltdown in front of the candy aisle.
It’s not you; but it’s not just me, either.
So let’s all remember my husbands wise words: sometimes we do everything we possibly can to successfully parent our children- and it works. And it’s awesome. But sometimes we do everything we possibly can to successfully parent our children- and it doesn’t work. And it’s not so awesome.
We as Moms are all in this parenting thing together, and we can give one another a great deal of support. Let’s just remember to be the Mom who is willing to support other Moms no matter what the circumstances.