I have been going around and around lately. Although I've known what I wanted to write about for quite a while, I just couldn't seem to find the words. Luckily, they arrived late yesterday afternoon. Perhaps these words were lubricated by the five frozen margaritas I enjoyed earlier in the day. 🍸 Whatever the reason, I'm glad it all came together because I find myself quite passionate about it.
I often write about motherhood (obviously) but I should actually refer to parenthood. I always used to end up feeling like I need to be better. Do more, be more. Why do I feel this way? Because people and society-in-general, love to impose generalised standards upon us.' Even though we all know that to have kids is to worry...continuously, we still find the judgers, the parent 'shamers'. As parents we often can't help but entertain it because we want to do the best we can for our children.
I recently stepped out of this catch 22. I put the bags filled with shame and guilt down. Here's how:
1. Flip the bird.
People will always talk shit!!! Despite the fact that there are people who've done it before me, books for days and days and research papers published every minute. None of those people have raised, written about or researched MY CHILDREN. They have neither walked our path nor lived our experiences. If I told you to look at the advice you receive as tainted by the advisors’, traumas, victories, failures, and conditioning.... Why TF would you want to use that on your kids? I suppose I've decided to trust myself and do this my way because nobody knows those two little dudes better than I do. I will not simply proclaim to know it all and not listen to other people, but I am now comfortable enough to step into self-love and (politely) tell people to f*&k off when they overstep or judge me. It takes time to get to that point, but once you find it, there is no turning back. 👊🏽👊🏽
2. Ignore 'Dave'
There's always a 'Dave'. Dave has it all. The house the dog, the white picket fences. His religion is the correct one, his children are perfect and everything he does is right. The rest of us should aspire or be, well...wrong. There is always a Dave!! My kids love my tarot cards, they play with my sage and crystals and ask my pendulum questions. We have spoken about Christianity and buddha and spirituality. I have taught them to respect everyone else's views, cultures, religions, and opinions. We identify as spiritual; one son identifies as Christian too. Perfect! Because that's how we roll. Don't ask why, because I don't have to explain, No one has to explain why they raise their children the way they do. My advice is: memorise this sentence, say it in love....''That's a wonderful story Dave.'' 😉
3. Self-love does not = Self -ish.
It’s a silly example but when I do my daily 5km I don't let me children come with me. It is during that time that I detox the day and ground. I AM NOT SELFISH! Taking care of yourself spills over and everyone in the family gets to enjoy the benefits. After that walk, my boys get to deal with a calmer mom. No one benefits from ratty, 'wound up from work' mom. At the very worst they will see me meditating, exercising, working, parenting and learn that I work hard to maintain balance and better myself. As far as skills go, those are bloody good ones to pass on. People will always try and tell you that time away is selfish. I go to boxing alone, I walk alone, I meditate alone, I write alone. My boys are fabulous. Don't let people use their own guilt or regrets to spark it in you. ☺
Do I now have all the answers? No
Will I make mistakes? Yes, but I will answer for, and learn from them.
Am I going to just tell everyone to get knotted? No, but I will seriously consider what advice stays or goes.
I say all of this in love. For the first time ever, in complete trust and faith in myself I say ‘’I've got these two. Raise your own.’’ At the very least, be kind or respectful. If you can do neither, be quiet.