For anyone who has children, Day 5 Be A Rebel will surely resonate with you. Because from the time we find out we are pregnant, there is a constant barrage of Do’s and Don’ts. And it’s up to you to forge your own path in this world we call motherhood.
Having a child means people come out of the woodwork to give you advice. I remember when I found out I was pregnant with my first, people at work I had never really spoken to would just come up and start talking about birthing plans, the “right” way to feed my baby and sleep training. What the what? Tell me your name again is what I was thinking!
And I’ve learned over the years that some advice IS really good but as a Mom I’m more like a sponge. I soak in everything people have to tell me about what I should and should not be doing, and I pick and choose what actually seems right in my life and for my family.
Doing this has caused me to buck the current parenting standard quite a bit.
For example, in our home, my kids don’t have chores. Nor will they. Read more about my feelings here but to give you an idea of where I’m coming from, let me quote what my mom always told ME when growing up…
“Hillary, the reason I have never given you chores is that, from where I sit, your job as a child is to BE a child. To enjoy the simple things. To play. To laugh. To have fun. To enjoy this carefree state for as long as you can. To focus on school and extracurriculars. To find a hobby you love. To encourage your passions in life. To own the responsibility the world will throw at you even from a young age. But not to throw more at you by creating mundane lists of things you need to “do” at home.”
Am I probably the only one in my group of friends that feels this way? Possibly. But that has never given me any pause. Because I know how I feel and that is enough.
While I’m breaking all the “rules” I’ll also let you know that I feel very strongly that I want to be my girls’ best friend. Today, tomorrow and in their teens and beyond.
Do I want to drink with them and go to parties and hear about them hooking up? No, quite the opposite. I want to instill in them a sense of self-respect and safety that they will carry with them through adulthood.
But do I want them to know that regardless of how mean this ol’ world is to them they always have their best friend waiting for them at home? Do I want them to know that even if they have a lapse in judgement with boys, alcohol, etc that they can talk to me and I won’t berate them and judge them? That I will wrap my arms around them and tell them they are loved?
Then yes…Yes I do.
But all it takes me is one time flipping through a Parents Magazine or watching a tv show to be told that in no uncertain terms should I be best friends with my child. Oh well…
Call me a Rebel With A Cause…
So as you can see, I think forging your own way as a Mom really makes you a better one. Sure, listen to what others have to say because there is no better educator than experience. Find a mom you really admire and watch what she does. If you loved the way you were raised (like I did), follow in the footsteps of your mom.
But at the end of the day, you need to make the choices and decisions that are right for you and your family. The ones that will bring you happiness, which in turn will make your children happier.
And don’t be surprised if you grow and learn after each child and make changes in your parenting as you go. That doesn’t mean you did it “wrong” the first time…it means you are getting it right!
If you have missed any in the series 31 Days & 31 Ways To Be A Better Mom, catch up here:
INTRO TO SERIES:
DAY 1: OUR BEFORE SCHOOL RULE
DAY 2: UNPLUG AND PLUG IN
DAY 3: STEP AWAY FROM YOUR CHILD
DAY 4: EMBRACE YOUR CRAZY
DAY 5: BE A REBEL
DAY 6: DO AS I SAY
DAY 7: FIND YOUR VILLAGE
DAY 8: DIVIDE & CONQUER
DAY 9: ONE SMART COOKIE
DAY 11: STOP COMPARING YOUR CHILD
DAY 12: TAKE CARE OF #1
DAY 13: DATE YOUR CHILD
DAY 17: PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES
DAY 18: QUIT BEATING YOURSELF UP
DAY 22: FAMILY DINNER SHMINNER
DAY 23: REBELLION IS A CRAZY THING
DAY 24: TELL THEM IT WILL GET BETTER
DAY 26: IT’S OKAY TO WISH TODAY WAS OVER
DAY 27: BE A GOOD DAUGHTER
DAY 28: QUIT TRYING TO BE THAT OTHER MOM
DAY 29: YOU CAN’T BUY THEIR HAPPINESS
DAY 30: TELL YOUR KIDS YOU ARE A FAILURE
DAY 31: LEARNING TO LET GO