What kind of parent are you?

Lately lots of women I know have had their first kids, and it’s been interesting to see how they manage with them, especially in this age of information overload.
You see the cloth diapering moms, the no TV moms, the organic food moms, the pumping/nursing/working moms, etc….
In no way do I claim to know everything about parenting. Hell, I have three and I admit I’m still learning. Plus my three wonderful kids never fail to surprise me!
But yes, I’ve been through weaning. I’ve potty trained. I’ve had a kid who bites and hits. I’ve had a c-section, and a VBAC.
And I haven’t seen it all. I thank God my kids are healthy and normal. Kids are hard, and I feel for those parents who have been dealt a tough hand of kids with special needs.
I think back to my days of when I had FZ, almost 6 years ago. I was working full time, but I loved my job as an editor at a newspaper. I knew what I wanted for my daughter. She would be breastfed, a good sleeper, a good eater, etc. I got all the books, and signed up for all the newsletters.
But, oh boy, was I in for a surprise. And I think, most new parents usually are. When I had my second and third kids, I found I relatively eased up. I still expect them to be well-behaved and I am a stickler for how they eat and sleep, but raising them is not a scientific formula. It’s more like a puzzle for which you have no exact picture to refer to. You try to do the best you can using common sense. You turn the piece this way and that way. Sometimes it ends up fitting with another. Sometimes it’s not right at all, so you toss it and try another one.
These days I am struggling with my son. He’s exhibiting all kinds of different issues that I never had to worry about with my girls. So I ask other moms if they’ve had similar issues. More often than not, new moms tell me “well you’d know better you have three.” Yes, but they are definitely not carbon copies of each other.
And I’m trying out new styles of parenting. My eldest is testing my patience, but when it comes down to punishment, we’re talking feelings instead of just screaming. It’s hard, but I think it’s working. In fact I plan on incorporating some new concepts I learned about to help authoritarian moms, like myself, get their point across without creating a disconnect.
Each day is a blessing. I take it as a new beginning to help me become a better parent. I worry a lot about how my actions will end up transferring to my kids. Sure we’re human, and we are allowed bad days and good days. The problem comes when we don’t take the time to realize that our little ones deserve the best of us.
And if we want good kids then we need to make sure we are at the top of our game. I speak to myself first because I know I need to change many things in my approach. Parenting shouldn’t be taken lightly, it’s a big responsibility, and we should support each other in raising a generation of caring, well-mannered, awesome kids.

3 thoughts on “What kind of parent are you?

  1. I am so intrigued, and I say this without judgment, that you call yourself an authoritarian mom. For various reasons I was not that way, and I am interested in knowing how this acknowledgment of your own desire to continue that path will play out as your three blossom. (Please, please take that in love; I think you know that is what I mean.)

    Yes, you want them to have the best of you, but that requires that you not lose yourself. So many of us put ourselves on hold while our children grow and it does not need to be that way.

    My babies are nearly 20 and 21, girl and boy, and I am blessed they remain under my roof. Maddening though it is sometimes that we raised them to be independent thinkers, I would not change that. And my advice to any parent boils down to this: Pick your battles. Choose what is important to you, stand by it, and let the rest wash past you. In the process, your child learns your values, and that is the best gift we can offer.

    • Thanks for the comment Beth! I don’t like being an authoritarian mom, where I just dish out orders and leave no room for flexibility. So I guess what I wanted to say was more along the lines of getting help to ease up on the way I was relaying orders to my kids. You’re right – I don’t want to lose myself either, but I think so many of us feel we are forced to just adopt a new image, lest our kids run wild. Which I know is not the case, but it’s so difficult to just release that control and see what becomes….,

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