Do you have parenting idols? People you aspire to be more like? People who seem to have this parenting this down, who never set a foot wrong, who seem to be sailing through without a care in the world? I have……….or should I say I did! There is this lovely mama who I kept wishing I could be more like. We’ve been corresponding a lot via emails and we have met a few times (we know her husband). She has given me a lot of advice over certain things regarding which wraps were good ones to get when I was looking for a woven, how to deal with a high needs baby, what cream to try to soothe my skin when the candida bacteria started attacking my epidermis and it looked like I would have to give up breastfeeding as I was in total agony. I wished and prayed I could be like her, unphased, calm, enjoying parenthood to the max (don’t get me wrong I LOVE it, but she just seemed to love it that little bit more!). She’s a cloth diapering, AP parent who seemed to be making super healthy choices for her children. I also make healthy choices (and today found out just how much). I don’t let my daughter eat many sugary things due to the issues I have and looking back I know without a doubt my high sugar diet from childhood has left me in the mess I’m fighting so hard to get out of and I do not want that for her. But as I was planning my daughter’s party, I kept wondering about the food choices thinking oh my goodness I bet she doesn’t let her boys eat this, or will she be tut tutting at the fact that some of the sandwiches are made on white bread?! Silly things, but yeah, they were big concerns in my head. Some days I would feel I was an unfit mother. I wasn’t giving enough of myself to my daughter, I wasn’t gentle enough, I wasn’t patient enough(this mama seems to have patience in abundance!). It got me down. It got me wondering why God has made me a mother when really, I wasn’t so cut out for this job and other people were giving their children so much more.
Today, we met up in the city as she and her family were over this way for work related purposes. She suggested eating lunch at Pizza Hut………….never did I think she would eat in a place like that as I had epitomised her as this super healthy person who wouldn’t want to be that junk into her children. Well, my eyes and ears were opened over that lunch table: her boys get squash to drink………..I only ever allow Miss E water and when she does come to have anything else it will be milk first and then 100% organic fruit juice watered down. Her oldest son who is nearly toilet trained wears a ‘sposie at nighttime……….never thought I’d hear her say she put anything but cloth on their bottoms. Not only did the boys have pizza, they got a HUGE bowl of ice cream filled with candy(and they’d already been taken to a candy store earlier in the day)to feast upon. She and her husband drank about 3 huge pepsi max’s each while I sat there with my water. They opted for a delayed vaccination schedule and we opted out completely. They still see the HV but wish they didn’t, whereas I sent the one here packing from the start and refuse to have anything to do with their optional service. Those are just for starters. I also had her in my mind as this calm, genteel mother who always spoke in quiet measured tones…wrong!
Lessons I learned today: Free yourself from the trap of trying to be more like someone else. Things aren’t always what they seem! Don’t build someone else up to be something they aren’t. Don’t think someone else is better than you at this parenting business. Give thanks to God for the parent He has made you and only look to Him as the epitome of what a good parent is and strive to be more like Him not like anyone else. he has made you as you are for the purpose that only you can fulfil and only YOU can parent your children…..otherwise some other mother and father would be parenting them and you wouldn’t have them. And……….give yourself a break! You are doing just fine mum or dad, just fine 🙂 Keep up the good work!