Monday, February 2, 2009

Best Parent. Ever.

As soon as you have a baby, actually, as soon as you let people know you're pregnant, they feel its their place to share their wisdom. Sometimes their advice is helpful, and other times just ridiculous. Everyone from your mother to the cashier at the grocery store has some input about how you should raise your child. Some people give this input as advice and suggestions, while others have no problem instructing you on what you should be doing. Then there are the few that let you know that... well you're just not a good parent. But you know what: I am the best parent, ever to be exact.

To my child that is.

But probably not to yours. And that's fine. I don't mind that all. It seems though that some parents honestly believe they are the best parents, not only to their children but they would be the best parents to other children as well. They also see it their place to let fellow parents know this. Where they have gotten this right I would love to know... I follow a few blogs, mostly design ones, but I throw in some parenting and family blogs as well. I also tend to visit some parenting websites that have boards for parents to discuss different topics amongst themselves. Well a popular theme that usually runs through most boards is "Who is parenting better". I've noticed that women love those kinds of discussions. They love being able to boast about the way they are raising their child. They also love to tear down the parenting styles of other mothers. I'm not sure why this is.

Now, there is nothing wrong with thinking the way you raise your child is the right way. Because, it probably is the right way, for your child and for you.* You just can't assume its the right way for another person's child. Your child is his/her own person, which you the mother know. You know your child like the back of your hand. Another mother's child though, you don't know. You don't know what would work or not work for them. You can only know what works best with your own child/children. You can give advice, suggest things but leave it at that. Stay on that side of the fine line. Don't try crossing it, and determining that you're the right one, and the other parent is not. At the end of the day you can argue and argue with another mother, but more chances than not, that woman is going to stick to the way she parents and you're going to stick to the way you parent. The end result will just be bitterness.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind advice. In fact I love when my mom, my mother in law, and other women who have had and have children share their suggestions and wisdom with me. I need all the advice I can get! But when they start instructing me on how I should be parenting, i.e. spanking my child, not letting my child cry it out... so forth. Well then I'm going to stop listening. 'Cause at the end of the day, I'm Riley's mother and Leif is Riley's father. We're the ones doing the raising and we will make parenting decisions based on God's word and what we think is best for our child.

(*Unless you're beating your child and neglecting them... Then yeah, you're wrong)

Leif and I being the best parents ever, ha:)


Jacqueline and Michael said...

I couldn't have said it better!

I do love the pics of you all with Riley! She looks like she's healthy and well cared for so obviously you all are the best parents for her!

Nikki said...

Ditto! :)

Megan Marie said...

very insightful. sounds like you've been having some negative experiences. i'm sorry for that, but glad you're figuring out where you stand. i finally just decided to forgive and love the people who make me feel like they're judging my parenting. most the time they have no idea that they're being overbearing. i'm so glad you mentioned following God's word in parenting. it really is between you, your husband, and Heavenly Father how you do it. although they don't come with handbooks, God would never send you one of His precious children to look after and then not be there for you when you struggle, as long as you seek His help. love reading your thoughts.

Monica said...

She's so gorgeous! And I totally agree with you. :)

Perfectly Me said...

Thanks for writing this. I never try to critique anyone's parenting style and unless it's straight up abuse (you should hear/see some of the parents on the DC subway system) I believe that they are doing what is right for them. A big pet peeve of mine is when a parent asks a question on a message board, but it's just a thinly veiled attempt to deride another parenting style.