I was on my way home from the gym last night and this country tune came on the radio as I was flipping the channels, and boy, did the lyrics really catch my ear! “Livin’ life like a Sunday stroll/ Free and easy down the road I go.”
How many of you are stressed out, nervous and anxious about your parenting path? About discipline? About homeschooling? How much is too much, or is it not enough? How to deal with family members? With friends whom you suddenly feel apart from?
I think actually when your child is three or four years of age, this can be a hard time for mothers. Presumably you have made it through the whole “your child is still breastfeeding?” and the whole “your child sleeps where?”, but now the discipline questions and the school questions really come to the forefront. It can be so isolating to feel as if you are parenting and looking at school choices so differently than everyone else!
I want to encourage you to hang in there! What choices you make now do matter for the future, and I find we are in a strange dichotomy in society today with parenting: we seem to have either the “hover parents” who are scared to let their children out of their sight and hold on so tightly, or we have the parents who seem to treat parenting a child as if it is an inconvenience. And I guess somewhere in between is those of us who are trying to make thoughtful choices whilst not losing the forest for the trees! And please, if you are judging yourself that in the past you were not mindful about your parenting choices and are now trying to change, please congratulate yourself on your success, on your baby steps of progress, and stop beating yourself up over your perceived “failures”. Life and parenting is a journey, and we all have to start somewhere!
Rest easy, my friends. Lighten your load for this month of February and take it day by day. You really don’t have to have all the answers today. Some of parenting is just experience, and growing in confidence. No one has really asked me with my third where he sleeps or how long he is going to breastfeed or when I am going to put him in school. And if they did ask, it wouldn’t bother me to tell them. I feel happy and confident with my parenting and schooling choices, but I also don’t feel the need to judge anyone else’s choices.
If you seem happy and confident, then people tend to leave you alone. If you seem anxious or stressed, people want to step in and “help”, which typically includes suggestions to cry it out, wean, send your child away to school….Try to see their motives as positive, and if their motives truly are not positive, feel free to tell them the topic is really not up for discussion!
Most of all, be joyous and have patience! It takes time to figure things out in parenting, and in ten years, you may see some things in parenting much differently than you do now. Be that free and easy soul and relax into your loving family.