In an article I had written a while back about parent shaming, I addressed the point that as parents, we are our own worst critics. I am confident enough in this statement to say that if you haven’t found yourself questioning at least one choice you’ve made as a parent, then you aren’t doing it right. Yes- I just said that. If you haven’t had at least one moment where you’ve said “did I really just let them do that?” or my personal favorite, “what am I doing?” then you are not truly invested or concerned about raising children who are active contributing members of society.
On the flip side there are those moments when you want to start crying tears of joy, because somewhere along the lines you did something right and your kid is not going to be a total hot mess of an adult. Those moments that you realize that somewhere between the tantrum they threw when you gave them the green sweater instead of the blue one and the unintentional minor loss of control when you stepped on a LEGO in bare feet for the millionth time so you threw it away, they heard you. They heard your message about how to treat people, how and when to use your manners, and how to be respectful to others.
As parents of boys, my husband and I are doing our best to raise them as gentlemen. We try our best to teach them to treat all people with respect, regardless of age, gender, race or appearance. I had one of those proud parent moments a few weeks ago, we were at the zoo and a baby had on a STARband. His mother was holding him and Maddox approached, I saw him and internally I prepped myself for how I would gracefully explain what the band was for to my 4 year old in front of the mother.
“I like your helmet” he said to the baby “You’re a happy little guy”
He then proceeded to make silly faces and got the baby laughing quite hard. The mother smiled and Maddox went back to feeding the giraffes. In that moment I knew we had done something right, he was drawn to the aspect that made the child different than him and his siblings, but addressed it in the most honest and beautiful way I could have imagined.
As we walked away I spoke with Maddox about the band and what it was for.
There have been other moments like this one. Moments like Maddox meeting Chloe for the first time and telling her that he and Thatcher would always look out for her (I’m not crying, YOU’RE CRYING). These are the moments that you know you’re doing something right.
As for raising girls, I can’t speak to that yet. Chloe is only 5 months old and we currently cheer her on when she burps and farts, so, yes we are working on raising a true southern belle. I could talk about my ideals on how I would like to raise her, but of course, I can’t speak to how to do it just quite yet.
Parenting is no easy task, but it is definitely not a thankless job as I have heard some refer to it as. The moments when you realize that you’re doing it right, those are the moments that make it all worth it.