Being a mother isn’t easy. I’m sure being a father isn’t easy either. There is always something new going on with your kids – some new boundary they’re testing or way to act out that they’re trying on for size. We all go through the vicious cycles where something is causing our children to act like hellions, and the root problem seems to be that the sky is blue.
“Being a mom isn’t an easy job. If it were an easy job, it would have a different title. What’s an easier job than being a mom? Maybe the President of the United States. If being a mom was an easy job, it’s title would be President of the United States.”
A friend of mine recently told me this on a much-needed phone conversation. And I totally agree with her. Motherhood is far from an easy job. When I stop to think about what all the President has to do with negotiating politics, yes-men, opposing parties, war, other countries, foreign and domestic troublemakers, there are days that I would agree to switch so someone else could take my reins.
As mothers (and parents), we are responsible for raising kids that will be good adults. We have this little seed that we grow with our bodies that turns into an eating, sleeping, pooping, screaming little being that is entirely dependent on us. From there we have to mold them by showing a good example, disciplining them, feeding them the right foods, entertaining them, making them do chores and eat their vegetables, getting them to play the right amount, getting them to not watch TV the wrong amount, and the list goes on and on. There are medical issues and allergies to navigate as well as socialization, behavior, their friends, their learning styles, what they do outside the home, what other people do with/to them outside our home… just thinking about it all makes me ready to jump back in bed and hide under the blanket.
Parenting is a huge responsibility. Bigger than you can EVER imagine before you’re faced with it.
When you find out you’re pregnant, you start imagining yourself as a parent. You think about the things you’ll never do and about the kind of parent you want to be. It’s blissful. Fast forward four years and you’re chasing a screaming preschooler wondering why you wanted this little miracle in the first place, doing the things you said you’d never do and being the exact opposite kind of parent from what you wanted to be.
So what do you do? How do you raise good kids?
I’m sure if you’re here reading this you’re saying, “Yeah, I already know this, get on with the advice before my head explodes from the screaming that’s accompanying this latest tantrum.” And since I like to oblige, here it is –
It takes a village to raise a child.
I know, you’ve heard that before and it’s all over – an old wives’ tale or about as significant to parenting in 2012 as a nursery rhyme, right? Wrong.
To be a successful parent, just follow these steps:
- Have friends who are parents.
- Do not be afraid to call/text/email your parent friends when you’re at your breaking point, your kids are driving you out of your mind, your standby discipline system doesn’t work, you have no idea why your kid is acting like a monster or how to stop it… This is a never-ending list. Whenever your parenting skills are exhausted.
- Tell your friend what’s going on.
- Listen to any advice your friend has on the subject.
- Laugh, cry and listen.
- Now you have a choice to make. You can do one of the following: take their advice word-for-word, take their advice and tailor it to your family, or ignore the advice.
- Appreciate that you had an adult moment, a shoulder to cry on and a chat with a friend.
- Answer the phone when your friends call and listen well, validate them as parents, and offer the best advice you can.
That’s it. We are all in this together, as countless legions of parents have been before us. No one parent knows all the answers, but together we can raise responsible, well-mannered kids that grow up to be good adults.
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