“We don’t all have to parent the same way to parent well.
I’ve done things my way as a mom, and friends I know have done things their way, but we’ve all ended up with children who are coming along nicely.
I’m a take-out-pizza-when-you-get-home-from-vacation kind of mom; some of my friends are ‘have a meal, including vegetables, waiting in the freezer’ moms. All our kids are fed.
My kids watched TV when they were young, some of their kids didn’t. All our kids are good thinkers who are creative and capable of occupying themselves.
My kids ate sugar starting with their first birthday cake; some of their kids didn’t. All our kids are healthy.
My kids went to public school all the way through; some of their kids were homeschooled all the way through. All our kids are well educated.
My kids didn’t do travel sports or competitive dance or intensive lessons or year-round commitments; some of their kids did. All our kids have passions and interests.
My kids didn’t get big lavish birthday parties; some of their kids had casts of entire classrooms and bounce houses and limousines. All our kids have felt celebrated.
I consider my grown kids both my children and my friends; some of my friends consider their children only their children and not their friends. All our kids are in relationships with us.
Just because I parent differently from another mom doesn’t mean either of us are doing it wrong.
The goal of motherhood is not to hit an infinitesimally small point at the center of a dartboard: it’s to get on the dartboard.
It’s to keep throwing darts of commitment and support and effort and care, so when we send our children out into the world, we’ve racked up enough points that one word—one reality, one truth—describes them above all else: ‘loved.’”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Elizabeth J. Spencer, blogger at Guilty Chocoholic Mama, of Battle Creek, Michigan. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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