My babysitter’s name is Toshiba and I don’t feel bad about it. Don’t get me wrong, my kids don’t sit in front of the television for hours with no other activities. They play outside in the backyard, go to dance classes, acting classes, we go fun places every weekend, heck we live right next to the beach. I shouldn’t have to even justify that, but somehow all of you mothers that are judging me right now, made me feel obligated. Dang it.
We are a nation of people that think we know what is best for someone else, when half of the time we are poorly managing our own lives. (and by we, I really mean you) From other mothers, our own parents to every type of professional with some sort of medical degree, even if they ordered it by mail, everyone has an opinion.
I have to tell you that I am tired of anyone with letters behind their name (I have them behind mine, too you know) telling other mothers how to best parent their children, especially the ones that do not actually have children of their own. The least they could do is rent a couple of children for a week or two before they start handing out advice. Unless I am paying you money, sitting in a chair or on a couch in front of you, I probably don’t want your advice or opinion and most certainly if you do not have children of your own.
I am not sure when it became so accepted to freely tell someone the best ways to parent or give unsolicited opinions. I had a woman in a grocery store share her opinion as my daughter was selecting which granola bar she wanted. When she picked the one with dark chocolate, the woman next to us said to me, however loud enough for my seven year old daughter to hear, “Don’t let her eat those, they will make her fat”. Well for those of you that know me, you will be expecting what came next. I said “You must have learned from experience.” It was quite obvious that granola bars were the least of this woman’s issues. She was offended, but again I was not sorry. She offered an unsolicited opinion and used the last word we like to say to a little girl, “fat”. I am glad that we now have granola bars to choose from. When I was a kid it was Twinkies and Sweet Sixteen powdered sugar donuts. I think my daughter will be ok.
I slept with both of my kids until they fell asleep just about two years each. One of my friends shared her opinion, because of her extensive research of course, which was that if you do that you will never be able to break the habit. Never? Really? How many 20 year old kids do you know that still sleep with their parents? Never is a bit of an exaggeration. They were both perfectly fine when I stopped. Dang, I just ruined some idiot’s research.
I make a lot of mistakes as a parent, but that’s just it, they are my mistakes to make. I try not to let my kids run with scissors or eat anything that has landed on the ground and passed the five second rule. Six seconds and I throw it out. I talk to them about telling lies, but I have to tell you, I know that we all told a lot of lies as kids and I never saw anyone’s pants actually catch on fire. I check under the bed every night for the boogey man and then promise myself that I am going to vacuum under there tomorrow since maybe it is a giant ball of dust they are mistaking for a monster. I make sure their clothes match at least four days out of the week. The fifth day is a crap shoot. And I never let them go out with dirty underwear. I turn them inside out if necessary.
Love your kids. Feed your kids. Teach them right from wrong and parent them the way you want to parent them. Do that and I bet they will turn out just fine.