Everyone loves to give advice to parents. I was once scolded by a grandmother, (not mine) for having my newborn out of the house in November, (we were on our way to a doctor appointment, she told my newborn I was such a mean mommy by taking him away from home!)
There are many reasons people give advice…some people just feel they must impart their superior parenting skills on those of us who are foolish enough to try it a different way. Some really just want to help their friends, family, and strangers get through a trying time. Some are like me, I like to give advice to help myself figure out how to fix my own parenting issues. I belong to a wonderful moms group, we all have first born children that will be 11 this fall, we all met while pregnant, we all met online. (Many of us have met in person since Feb. of 06, but we mostly communicate online). We have all shared our trials (and joys but recently I think it’s been mostly trials!!) I find myself giving advice, A LOT of advice, but not because I think I have all the answers. I mostly do it to learn. I hope they take it the right way. I am often one complaining about my own troubles in parent land, so I think they do. I am much better at analyzing my friend’s issues in a calm environment than I am at solving my own in the heat of the moment. (aren’t we all much better at fixing our problems when we can think about them in a rational state of mind instead of while miniature dictators screaming unintelligible demands at us??) Anyway, I am almost always able to take whatever ideas I come up with and apply it to an issue I am having with my own kids. It’s so nice to have this wonderful community to draw support from, just hearing that mine are not the only kids that have great parents but still act as if they are being raised by wolves can be exactly what I need to hear after an especially trying day! I like to hear their stories of trials, not because I’m glad they are having them, but it makes me feel a bit more normal that I am having similar trials with my kids. Being a parent is hard, that’s no joke and not a secret. Some days are much harder than others, heck some months are hard! One thing I do cling to though, is the fact that if I am this concerned over if I’m doing a good job I certainly must be doing the best I am capable of, right? No one thinks this much about a job they are doing if they are only going to do it half way! I share this tid bit with my friends and I think they feel the same way, we MUST be doing something right, surely we could not put this much energy into something just to be screwing it up! Anyway, I enjoy talking about parenting issues and hope to inspire my friends and readers to realize that we are doing a good job, we will have success and we will have not so successful moments, but we must look at our efforts because the end result is too far into the future to accurately judge.