Still No Idea What I’m Doing: Thoughts on Parenting

In regards to parenting…I have no sage advice. I’m not an expert, though there was I time I probably thought I was. “I’ll never be THAT kind of mom.” or “MY children will NEVER do THAT.” Yes, I’ve actually said those things, and karma laughed and laughed. Really, the only thing I can boast is that I have survived the baby and toddler phases. I think that is an accomplishment. Everyone is in one piece.
Today I was looking through my “Kid Stuff” board on pinterest. For the past 4 years or so this is where I’ve saved all sorts of ridiculous craft projects, warm and fuzzy parenting quotes, child-rearing tips from other non-experts, and LOTS of overly complicated solutions to simple problems. That’s basically the parenting side of pinterest in a nutshell. It is like a trip back in time. I remember those phases of our lives. The baby years, full of tips and products I thought would help make me better at caring for two needy babies. I didn’t realize then I was already the best mom for the job. The toddler years, full of explosive tantrums, hitting, biting, picky eating. At the time, I didn’t think we’d ever make it though these problems. We did. The potty training phase. Oh Lord, this was one of the difficult tests of patience and love. I mean, you go into it thinking you’re already an expert at cleaning pee and poo at this point. WRONG. Maybe it’s because we were training two, but our lives were pretty much saturated in pee and poo for at least a month. Still, we made it through. The poonami eventually ended, and now I have somewhat civilized, toilet using children.
I guess what I’m getting at here is don’t take this job too seriously. Not every problem is the end of the world and some of these phases kids go through really aren’t problems at all in retrospect.
So the home-made organic baby food…yeah, your kid is going to try to eat random things they find in the parking lot. All the complicated “sensory activities”…you will drive yourself crazy making sure it is all perfect, and your child will decide to play with an empty shoe box or water bottle for hours instead. The craft projects…”DIY felt tote for crayons”… seriously, just throw those broken crayolas in a ziploc and move on.
This is a lesson I have to keep reminding myself even now with self-proclaimed “big kids.” I’m still making it all up as I go along, still making mistakes sometimes. I think I’ve put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself over the years. I guess all moms do. Sometimes it helps to stop and ask myself if this is going to matter in a year. Is it really that big of a deal? These kids are growing up lightning fast, and before I know it they will be adults. What will they look back and say was important to them? I doubt it will be anything I found on pinterest. This may sound cliche, but I think it all comes down to love. Stress less, love more. My new parenting mantra.
❤️ Michelle

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