…a good mother. Before I go onto the topics of this blog, I would like to apologise to the people that enjoy reading my blog because the last post had an angry tone compared to my usual chilled out approach. Unfortunately I was unnecessarily criticised and I had to catch somebody out to prove a point and it worked. So now back to discussing parenting.
Ok, so I’ve always been a deep thinker and I do like a poignant quote so my inspiration for this blog is, “Cogito ergo sum.” It is more commonly known as “I think therefore I am.” It basically means, if we are able to think about our existence then that in itself proves our existence. It has made me think about what makes a ‘good’ mother. And quite simply I think being good is down to the ability to think. I think, therefore I am a good mother. The type of parent that can think about how to parent or reads about parenting, the fact that they care enough to think about it makes them good.
I think this is particularly relevant when dealing with ‘naughty’ children. Having a naughty child doesn’t make you a bad parent and by thinking about how to deal with your naughty child, the very act of thinking shows that you care and are therefore good. I don’t like to refer to anyone as a ‘bad’ parent because there is always a bigger picture but make your own mind up about this and you might see my point about thinking.
I know of a father who was informed by child care professionals that his child had been swearing during his time at nursery. His response was, “what do you expect he lives in [insert run down area, careful not to offend anyone].” I think we can agree, no thought has gone into that response. A thinking parent would think, “where has he picked up those words?” “Was he angry or sad in nursery to use aggressive words or did he use it out of context?” And would therefore care about the attitude of their child and what they are picking up on.
As you can tell from my blogs, I think so much about parenting that I write and write and write and I’m right to do this because I can express my thoughts and make sense of them and help myself to make the right decision by thinking. If we do not think about our actions we will fail to make the right decisions. You can tell who the thinkers are because they rarely make spelling or grammar mistakes and rarely show unnecessary aggression. People that have incoherent status updates, instantly respond to a text with a nasty tone or shout/complain at an innocent shop assistant, these people are not thinkers! No thought has gone into their reply. They just fly off the handle.
When children are involved it is really helpful to think before you lash out because you are their role model and your decisions with affect their life. You are more likely to regret actions that you have put no thought into. There are some parents out there that might care so much that they read and read and read and I might be able to help some people make decisions and that is worth writing for. Some people suggested I remove my blog or make it private again after the nasty comments I had but I thought about it (obviously!) and thought there are hundreds of blogs, forums and websites dedicated to parenting and parents helping each other, why should I stop writing mine?
Writing a blog doesn’t make me a know it all but it does mean that I’m willing to express and share all that I know. When somebody says or implies that I think I know it all it makes me think of my nephews. Sometimes nephew 1 can be innocently getting on with a hobby that he enjoys, let’s say drawing. Nephew 1 is just minding his own business but nephew 2 will get mad and say, “Look at him! He thinks he’s cool!” To which I always say, “No, YOU think he’s cool! He hasn’t said a word, you’re simply describing him as cool.” It is just projection. It is exactly the same when people say, “she thinks she’s knows everything about babies after 2 months.” No, actually I’ve never claimed that have I? In fact I regularly say, this is only my opinion based on my experience. So for someone to read and have that thought, thank you! You’ve interpreted my writing to be very knowledgable after just two months and find it impressive. Just like nephew 2 thinks nephew 1 is cool.
Lately I’m seeing far too much interaction on social media where people are criticising parents. Not just me but just in general and I can’t decide what is worse, parents criticising parents (what kind of message are you giving your children by being childish, judging or bullying?) or non parents (what the hell? Parents aren’t experts on parenting so non parents certainly aren’t!) The thing is, being ‘good’ is down to how you interpret a situation. For example, you could say I’m a good mom because I’m back to work already and so I’ll be able to pay my bills on time and give Ollie security through his life. Or you could say I’ve abandoned him and fob him off to his nan on a Monday morning. It’s all down to the perceivers attitude. So next time you judge a parent, assess how much you’re actually judging yourself and showing your true colours. Ok, I agree there is some shocking parenting out there but just remember it’s only a snap shot. For example, I was in the Disney store the other day and I heard a mother say to her little girl, “Are you going to stop crying?” “No.” “Well go away then!” Snap judgement – terrible mother! Bigger picture – I don’t know what the hell has led to that exchange! So I’ll just concentrate on my own life. The little girl might be crying because she’s hungry, ok the mother is not meeting her child’s needs. What if she’s crying because she’s not allowed an Elsa doll because her mom bought her two last week? Then actually, not so bad! I say this time and time again, you will be much happier if you concentrate on your own life.
As a mother it is easy to doubt yourself sometimes because you want to do everything right for your babies. Remember, just by thinking about what you’re doing, you are caring and that makes you good! Don’t let anyone suggest otherwise. I read once that taking your child to a museum doesn’t make you good but the act of thinking about taking them and wanting them to learn makes you good. It is actually irrelevant where you go, it’s the quality time and thoughts that matter!
I’m often told that I think too much, to which I reply, “No, others do not think enough!”