Thursday, December 8, 2011

What Would it be Like?

I have been thinking lately about what it would be like to parent without outside pressures or influences. What if there were no books, or parenting magazines, or competitive friends telling us how we "should" parent? What if we just followed our hearts, and did what we felt was best for our children and our family? What if I trusted that my children would do things in their own time, would hit milestones when they should, rather than putting pressure on them to do things on the same timeline that other children do?
What if every time my children misbehaved, or pitched a fit, or bit me on the face (oh yes, Grayson did this just today), I didn't think...what would so and so do? How did that article say I should handle this? What did that book say?!!!! What if I just took a deep breath, said a prayer, and handled it how I knew in my heart was right? And of course, from time to time lots of times, I would mess up. But it would be okay, because I'm human, and I wouldn't have any books, or articles, or the "perfect" Mommy screaming in the back of my mind that I DID IT WRONG! Instead I would make it right, forgive myself, and move on.

What would that look like? How would my parenting differ from what it is now? I have been challenging myself to try to parent this way, but I tell you, it's hard. It's hard to let go of all the influence and the pressure. It's hard to make decisions based solely on how I feel my children should be parented, and not on everything I have read and heard and seen. But I'm trying, and I will keep trying. For their sake, and for mine.

*While this post was still sitting in drafts, I came across this post by Sarah Markley that asked similar questions, only on a broader scale. Please take a minute to read it. I love her writing. *



  1. outside influences ring in my mind all too often. but, like you, i am learning to let those thoughts and opinions fall by the wayside as i learn to lead my children on a path, on a journey, in a way that i feel god has placed on my heart. i'm thankful for his gentle direction daily.

    love you friend.

  2. God gave your children to you because He trusted you to raise them. If we all remembered that, we could learn to trust ourselves. I have to tell myself that a lot with Hannah, because even though she is adopted, God gave her to us.....
    Besides, Janet did a great job because you turned out great! And we learn the most from our mothers (and fathers).

  3. I feel the same way, though not about parenting just yet. :) There's just so much unspoken pressure to do it the experts' way or your friends' way. (And I was going to pop over here and tell you you weren't alone, that Sarah Markley felt the same way, but look... you already knew that! Looks like you're in good company. :))

  4. My advice to new parents is to not compare your child to anyone else. You can make yourself crazy trying to keep up with everyone else.
    Great ideas today.
    PS- I've been bitten in the face too

  5. I think it was after having my second baby (you know...3 months ago) that my parenting style really sunk it. I've never read a single parenting book. I try to avoid reading articles online, but I do ask a lot of advice from other moms. Basically, I mess up A LOT as a mom :) But I think now I'm starting to be ok with the style of parenting I've chosen, and the best thing I can do for my kids is to not compare them to each other or other kiddos. To just be present and calm. To be the best I can be every day, and some days that is better than others. At the end of the day I want to be proud of myself for striving to do my best and do it the way I see best for my children. Sometimes I wish I lived a bazillion years ago and didn't have the pressure of book, the internet and so many other factors!!!

    Ps. you are a GREAT mama!!!!!!!!!! Hope your face is ok ;)