10 May 2009

A Mother's Day Wish

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

This Mother's Day, I'd like to give every mom the gift of less judgment - of themselves and of other mothers.

Many of us set some unrealistic bar in mothering perfection. There are no fights between siblings because we are "good" parents and we teach our children to resolve conflict peacefully and love their brothers and sisters. Our kids remain injury free because we buy them crawling knee pads, watch them every second as they begin to walk and continue chaperoning their field trips through middle school. We protect our kids from bullies, heartache, disappointment and punishment, and we start judging other mother's the moment we hear they did something that could be considered the least bit dangerous.

We allow fear to brainwash us. We worry that everything we do as a mother may be putting our kids in danger - that they will hate us later in life because of what we did - or didn't do. If we thought it would help, we'd wrap them in bubble wrap and secure with duct tape.

The problem is that we are not only doing ourselves a disservice when we are so self-critical, but we are doing our kids a disservice as well. Every time we rescue or protect our kids from natural consequences, we are telling them (through our actions) that we believe they are not capable and competent. We are actually holding them back from developing into smart, happy, responsible adults.

Stop. Take a deep breath. Teach them basic safety, then give them some freedom - freedom to develop logical reasoning and coping skills. Statistically, the crime rate today is equal to what it was back in 1970 and crimes against children have actually decreased (although you'd never believe that based on media reports). Let them feel the pain, disappointment and consequences of their decisions, and know in your heart that this is the BEST thing you can do for them as a mother. And quit being so hard on yourselves ... and other mothers.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

17 comments:

katherine. said...

you are a damn fine mom....Happy Mothers' Day to you!

Granny Nanny said...

Happy Mother's Day Dana, Well written!!

Another Suburban Mom said...

Will do. I might s'mother a little, but not enough to cause permanent damage.

Happy Mother's Day to you!

Anonymous said...

perfectly stated.

Happy Mom's day

Anonymous said...

*Claps Hands* Dana this is a hell of a post! Happy Mother's Day To you!!!

I Loved this post.. You truly gave a post that everyone mom, child, father and anyone else out there needs to read!

nehya

we're doomed said...

Well said Dana, and happy Mother's Day to you.

Vixen said...

Perfectly said and so true.

Have a great Mother's Day Dana!

buffalodick said...

While bringing up our sons, a guy who was through raising his family gave me some great advice I'll pass along; "Don't raise your kids to do as they're told, raise them to think for themselves"... Mistakes will be made, but anyone who knows anything has made mistakes- and learned something from them.. Happy Mother's Day!

Anonymous said...

Good stuff Dana!

I think I'm gonna take Darling Boy's bike helmet away. Oh wait, it's against the law for him to ride without it. I don't have that freedom :-(

Pardon my snarky-ness...

Happy Mothers Day!

Dana said...

katherine, and Happy Mother's Day to you too!

Granny Nanny, thank you, and right back at you!

ASM, it's a fine line, isn't it? Happy Mother's Day!

Dana said...

Sage, thank you!

Ne, saying it and doing it are very different, but I do my best!

Doomed, thank you!

Dana said...

Vixen, it's hard to watch them hurt - to fail - but it is such a critical part of how they learn!

Buff, EXCELLENT advise!

Hubman, you did notice that there was no where in there that I said bike helmets were over the top. Indeed, I consider those parts of basic safety!

Karen said...

Happy Mother's Day Dana!

Anonymous said...

Right back atcha, Dana. Great post. xo

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my lame attempt at being a smart-ass failed. And I'm usually so good at that!

captain corky said...

Hope you had a happy Mother's Day, Dana. ;)

Bina said...

Very nicely done. I'm proud to say that I think I'm a pretty good parent, raising my children to be "independent" and think for themselves.

Happy Belated Mother's Day!