Tales From A Twin Mom:
My 4, 2014 Parenting Regrets
In just a couple of weeks, we will all be saying goodbye to 2014; and just like you, I have my regrets. As a parent, I’m nowhere near being perfect-but I never pretend to be. I can write a mushy article about not saying ‘I love you’ enough, or wishing I had more time to cuddle with my children; but honestly, that just wouldn’t be me. What could possibly be my regrets? Take a seat and hear me out…
1. I regret listening to every single fool who had something to say about my parenting decisions. Some really got under my skin. I compared myself to other parents. I got angry at myself for not keeping my cool like others do. I wanted to be like them. I really did; but when I wasn’t, I was disappointed in myself. It’s very easy to talk the talk, but it’s another to walk the walk. That happened often this year, and I hope I can shrug these things off next year. Yes, I’m talking to you, person who told me they never yelled at their children.
2. I regret toning down my humor in an attempt to not offend others. I am who I am. If you can’t take the humor that comes with sitting next to me or holding a conversation with me, please move along. I shouldn’t have to censor myself for people that have a stick up their behinds. I enjoy laughing-even if it’s at myself. It’s what keeps me alive and happy. I want my children to be the same way. I want them to have the ability to tell and take a joke with ease. I want them to remember that their mother never changed in order to fit a mold; she went where she was accepted and understood. They need to remember my laughter. I mean really-when was the last time you remembered someone for their proper behavior and serious ways?
3. I regret raising my standards so high that there was no humanly way possible they could be reached. I can’t keep up with my kids’ messes, I can’t dust the house on a daily basis, and I can’t remember to get the clothes out of the dryer the same day-and that’s fine with me. It’s normal. I have a full time job and a family to care for. I have a dog that believes in taking a mud bath every month, and kids that enjoy tearing their rooms apart in order to find that one cheesy necklace that has the “diamond.” I have a car that is full of crumbs and french fries that never made it to my children’s mouths. I try to keep it clean, but when it comes down to it, I’d rather have a quiet ride home with my kids munching away than have to explain that even though french fries are delicious when they’re warm, they will have to wait because I like a clean car.
4. I regret competing with other parents. I can’t make my kids’ lunches as cute as yours. I can’t convert my child’s old crib into a desk without making it a safety hazard. I do my very best. I write a daily joke on the napkin in my 9 year old’s lunch box, and I draw a silly face for my twins. I want them to smile. They should already know I love them more than words can say. I praise my children when they get my sarcasm because they need to be clever, not just book smart. I give my daughter a high five for putting an older kid on the ground in her karate class. I don’t braid hair. I don’t make dresses. I do what I do, and that’s fine. I shouldn’t have to compete with other mothers, because I assure you they wouldn’t be able to compete with me in some instances-like having a witty remark readily available when my mother-in-law suggests my children’s towels should be toasty warm upon their exit from the bath. They wouldn’t stand a chance against me during a stare down. I can snap my children back into reality with just one look; take that, Tiger Moms.
Next year it will be different. How about you? What changes in parenting are you making in 2015?