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It’s Not You; But It’s Actually Not Me, Either

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.

Profound, right?

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.

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14 Responses to It’s Not You; But It’s Actually Not Me, Either

  1. Stephanie Gilbert January 26, 2017 at 10:59 pm #

    This. Every word is so true! If every mom could realize this, there would be so much less judgment and much more understanding. Soooo good!

  2. Harmony,Momma To Go January 30, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    Both side are this are so hard- the commenter prob meant it well, but it’s hard to tell with tone online etc. plus sometimes you don’t know everyone’s crap so it’s hard to know if it’s something beyond parental control!

  3. jessica lynn January 30, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    The mom judgement is strong. Keep your chin up and keep doing what you think is the best for your family!

  4. Michele January 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    I love this quote and may need to use it often! We try what we know for our children and what we feel is healthy. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

  5. Nicole Banuelos January 30, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

    Your husband sounds like a very wise man! I agree, less judgment and more support. I’d say that 99% of us out there are doing the best we can.

  6. Tabitha Blue January 30, 2017 at 5:57 pm #

    Oh mama, bless you!! Sometimes parenting is so hard. These little ones we love fiercely are totally in our hands… and what you said is true, just because they’re in our hands doesn’t mean can control everything. If only!!! I feel you. You’re loving him, you’re doing what you need to do, and then we just have to trust for the rest don’t we? I wish that part was easier! Haha. XOXO

  7. Angela January 30, 2017 at 9:00 pm #

    This is so important to remember as a mom! There is so much temptation to feel mommy guilt over everything! Good reminder.

  8. Megan January 30, 2017 at 10:52 pm #

    Oh man great read. I am sorry to hear you are struggling on the growth charts… I too know what this is like and it’s very hard not to feel responsible in some way! Hang in there!

  9. Justine Y @ Little Dove January 31, 2017 at 11:10 pm #

    Amen!! Thank you for this post, it’s so true! There are some things that we have no control over, as much as we hate to admit it!

  10. Carrie Chambers February 1, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

    I often catch myself trying to give too much advice based on my experience. It does come from a good place (I was so overwhelmed in the first few weeks of motherhood, I feel compelled to try to make things easier for other new moms in my life), but I definitely do catch myself at times.

    I teach a communication course and teach my students that our most common response to people is to advise; but the most desired response time is to just listen. So I try to respond more with something like, “I hear you. That’s really rough.” versus, “XYZ worked for me! Have you tried it?”.

  11. Crystal February 1, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    Yes! My daughter, who is my oldest, was chunky – always in the 90-something percentile for weight when she was a baby/toddler. My boys, however, struggled to break the 20% mark. I did not have a different diet or activity level when nursing my daughter compared to the boys. My pediatrician chalked it up to genetics.

  12. Lauren C. Moye February 1, 2017 at 9:36 pm #

    Great post! Love the emphasis on how every child is different at the end.

    As a Mom of a former FTT (I think we finally have enough time behind us that I don’t have to mark it on her health charts!), I wish I could hug you right now. There’s nothing like those health charts to make you feel more fretful, right? They have their place, but not every child is going to be on the chart. That’s not how percentiles work. As long as your baby is making progress, then you’re fine.

    On another note, make sure they’re using the WHO charts. Those percentiles are based on breastfed babies around the world. One of my doctors tried to use the other style and it made my baby’s lack of weight look even worse. In reality, she wasn’t too far off from the WHO charts.

  13. Ellen @Mommy Happiness February 1, 2017 at 9:41 pm #

    So true! Everyone has an opinion, idea and/or advice on parenting (even those without kids!)….as if we have control on everything right? I completely agree with your husband’s words and I need to remind myself of them often 💗 Thank you for your post!

  14. Jessica Glaze February 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

    I’m just excited to hear there is another mom out there their has a hard time getting their kiddo on the growth chart. My son was in the less than 5th% for more than his first year. I DID EVERYTHING I could except formula and nothing, nothing, nothing made a difference. I even injected 2 tablespoons on olive oil into everything he ate. No gain. Finally, I decided to listen to my instincts, which told me that he was just fine, we stopped going to the doctor and just lived our lives. He is super happy and healthy and a perfect size now at age 3. Keep doing what you are doing mama.