It doesn’t matter what type of parents we are! What is more important is that we all put our kids first. By Sarah Pearce
When I had my first son, I was surprised and taken aback by all the different variations of parenting, and the religious like fervour of some people who would argue until they passed out that their way was the only way. I had an idea of how I wanted to approach things, but there were so many things that I didn’t even realise were an option (hey, I didn’t even realise that modern day cloth nappies are more than a square bit of flannel!). But I plodded along and tried to do what I thought was right and quietly thought that anyone who did it differently was, quite simply, insane.
By the time I had my second son I was a little wiser and calmer, and I’d realised that every mum and every child and every mother-child relationship is different. Thankfully, I’d finally got it into my head that there is no one-size-fits-all for parenting, and while I might not have done it how the mum across the street did it, it didn’t mean that either of us was wrong. I even tried out a few different approaches that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole with my first born. Sure, I still advocated for certain approaches when discussing things with other parents, but I didn’t think they were bad parents if they disagreed with me. We’re all in this together, aren’t we?
But you know what? There is always something that we do not agree with, things that we see as bad choices or the result of bad parenting. Parents swearing at kids, kids swearing at parents, a child who hits their parent or sibling with no apparent consequences. Children who snatch or hit or bite. Those things, they are never okay.
And then, my eldest was diagnosed with autism, and a year later so was his brother. It rocked our world. I have been that parent who has been screamed at in the middle of the shopping centre (every week for a while there). I have been the parent who has been hit and bitten by her son and hasn’t given him a consequence. My child has been the one to snatch and hit and bite. I have given my child what they wanted, even though they threw a tantrum to get it.
But you know what? I’m not a bad parent, and my children’s behaviour is not the result of bad parenting. In fact, I am so incredibly proud of them because they have come so far. And even though we deal with the stares and the comments and the shaking of heads, I know that my boys are dealing with sensory issues and emotional regulation issues and are struggling to express what they are thinking. And nothing is ever straightforward or easy when you are dealing with all of that.
Even though I thought I wasn’t judging other parents when my boys were babies, I was. But not now, because I know how hard it can be and I know how much can be happening in the background that no-one else sees or realises. Even the mum who just swore at her kids has a story that no-one else knows.
That may all seem a far cry from the mums at playgroup arguing about why one breastfeeds and the other doesn’t, but it’s all the same really. Because no matter what decisions we make or what situations we are dealing with with our kids, or how our kids behave, we all need support and encouragement and to know that we are awesome super mums!
This video has been doing the rounds and I laugh every time I see it! It really shows how darn stupid the mummy wars are.
Video by Similac US