I read an article last month that left me feeling so very compassionate to all the Moms out there. Well, to all humans really.
In the article, a Mother adamantly espouses the right way to parent in such a crazy world. She writes well and her thinking makes sense.
Beneath the article, I also felt a feeling I think most Mom’s (parents) feel on a daily basis.
Do we really know the right way to parent?
I don’t. I’m sure I have it wrong half the time.
The mom who never misses a school event, will be told, when her kid is a teenager, that she was ‘always there’ with an eye roll. The mom who attends specific events because of her travel schedule will be told, when her kid is a teenager, that she was ‘never there.’
This post isn’t about that. It is really about this underlying need, it seems, for humans to shout from the rooftops that they have figured out the right way to live. To almost admonish others for choosing another path. Announcing that we have found the Holy Grail of parenting, leadership, selling or living! With several exclamation points, we are so sure of ourselves. !!!
Actually, each ! is perhaps a declaration of just how unsure of ourselves we are.
It feels like such insecurity in all of these declarations. Beneath it all, as I read that article, is a wish and a hope that ‘it’ has been figured out. And for ‘it’ to be valid, everyone who parents differently must be wrong. As I read several articles this morning, I just noticed how BINARY we are. So EITHER/OR. If I am right, you must be wrong. Rather, if I am parenting this way, I MUST be right and therefore you must be wrong or I am not okay.
It is okay to want what you want just because you want it.
That is what I’m left with. It is okay to mom the way that is right for us and our kid. It is okay to lead the way that is right for us and our vision/team. We each get to see the outcomes of what we are choosing and decide if we want to make adjustments or not. Anyone with limited information will give us assumptive advice and it is a gift yet we don’t have to take it home with us. It is a way to check-in and be present in how we parent, lead or run our companies/jobs.
We give each other SO much advice. Perhaps to be caring and often to soothe ourselves that our way is the right way. That we are okay. That our choices are not selfish- they are the global way to be.
I think women are learning to not judge another woman for her parenting choices or life situation that limits her choices. Well, not really. Now we perhaps make snarky comments through our aggrandizing our discovery of the RIGHT WAY. It is sad.
I admire the women in my life who have devoted their life to being a work at home mom. I see them and all the ways they make my son’s school better in ways I do not. I value them and admit I am a little jealous at times. I had miscarriages and really wanted more kids. My jealousy sometimes makes me distance myself a little. That underlying ache can turn into judgment so easily. I can judge people because of my internal ache and insecurity to somehow make me feel okay.
I admire the women in my life who have devoted their life to changing the world. I watch them tear their heart out sometimes flying around the country because they want to improve the world their children will grow up in. I am a little jealous at times seeing the things they get to do and how they are making such a huge impact. I know how little my impact is on the world each time I choose to turn something down. I know I am not doing enough and giving enough of myself to change the world. That underlying ache can turn into judgment so easily. I can judge people to somehow make myself feel better.
I admire the women in my life who take care of themselves. Who are bold enough to live a life that is about happiness and being a whole human. They are changing the world by teaching their kids that bliss and self-care is of value.
I admire the women in my life who do not have kids because they didn’t want them or (sob) didn’t get to have them. They give my life tremendous love and perspective I just can’t get anywhere else. I am a little jealous of them at times seeing all the beauty they craft with a wave of their fingers. I do not do enough like they do so I get all weird in my head at times.
I admire the women in my life who just like to read and do as little as possible. Such a beautiful lesson for their children (and their friends who have kids) to understand that life is what we choose it to be… without comparison.
It is okay to want what we want just because we want it.
That is it. My wish is that instead of adamantly deciding we are doing it right and they are doing it wrong… we are open that maybe we have something to learn from other people. Maybe by noticing that someone is doing it different, we can ADD some thinking to ours rather than judge and proclaim.
Or we can just hug someone who just might need to be reminded they are okay and beautiful in their choices.
PS: “It is okay to want what we want just because we want it” doesn’t apply to serial killers, jerks who have control over people, governments, evil people etc. Take it as a lighthearted sentence not mean to give anyone license to hurt people.