Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thoughts on mommyhood

I have four kids aged 9 to just shy of 4 months old. There are three girls and one boy in the mix and their personalities are all very different. In my experiences as a mom, through mom's clubs, friendships, blogs, twitter, family, facebook, coworkers, etc. I have found that there are so many styles to parenting and that moms are so very tough on themselves and each other.

I don't think I judge other moms, with the exception of those who CPS should be called on for beating, starving, abusing their kids...and really, in those situations who can blame me? With the other moms I encounter along the way, I really don't like to judge how they approach their role for a few reasons. The first is that I don't know their kids and/or spouses, even with good friends and family, I don't KNOW them in the way that someone who lives with them every day for years on end does. I also don't know what they have tried, what works for them, and what they refuse to try. We all have to make hard choices in raising our children, and most moms don't like to talk about the many failures we all encounter on the path to finding what works. I only know how to raise my four kids to the ages they are. I have never had any kids other than these, so I am still learning as I go, and while I have had a nine year old girl, I have not had Brittan and Teagan as nine year old girls....yet. Finally, I don't know how these moms were raised, with the exception of my own sister, and even she and I had very different experiences growing up in one household.

So here is the thing. Use all of these other folks in your life who approach mothering as an opportunity for you to grow and expand your ideas. Rather than judge what they are doing, look at what choices you have made and try to determine where you can improve in your own life. Be open minded and listen to each other, you never know when that idea you shunned suddenly becomes the best and only choice you have left to try.

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