After taking the girls through two countries already we’ve been settled in the third, Canada, for about 5 days now. It’s been so helpful to be back in a family routine, and I use the word routine lightly as I’m not very strict with it. It’s just a nice guideline for us. We’ve seen family, had our nails done – first mummy and daughter mani/pedi, been to Niagra Falls and gone shopping.
So this morning I thought it was time to just relax. I found the address of the local soft-play centre which just happens to be 15 mins away from the hotel. It was great. Simple, not expensive – adults were free, I could bring my own food and most importantly my girls had fun.
I was standing there looking around watching all the kids play and looking at the mums and dads and I was thinking of all the benefits of these centres. Of course they are great for the kids, but they’re also good for parents.
One common theme that always comes up with mums I talk to is about feelings of inadequacy or guilt compared to how other parents care for their children and handle motherhood. What I saw today was the whole spectrum of parenting behaviours. There were:
- Children in perfectly matched, designer clothes
- Kids in costumes
- Kids with random clothes
- Kids being fed healthy fruit, home made snacks
- Kids being fed store bought biscuits, chocolate and squeezy packet fruits
- Parents playing and interacting with their kids
- Parents sitting here reading a book or being on their phone
- Parents who rushed up to their child when they hurt themselves
- Or parents who let the child brush themselves off and get up again
- Babies being breastfed
- Babies being bottle fed
What was the common theme…. All the kids were happy!
It doesn’t matter how you parent your child, as long as YOU are happy with how you do it. Comparing yourself to other parents achieves nothing and only makes you feel more insecure.
When we compare, we act superior and then mums have a bad habit of getting into some nasty arguments which in my opinion is just bullying. I HATE the mummy wars.
It’s easier said than done to stop comparing. There’s a great way to help you along this way. Think of your parenting values. What type of parent do YOU want to be? What is important to YOU? Being kind, wise, supportive, encouraging independence, respectful, loving etc… Choose three values and then when faced with a decision you need to make, ask yourself – “How would a ‘kind’ parent act in this situation?”, “How would a parent who encourages independence act in this situation?”
If you follow your values then it doesn’t matter what anyone else does because you are acting in line with the type of parent YOU want to be – not what someone else wants you to be
I’ve got some great exercises that can help you explore your parenting values and how to chose ones that are in line with your personality and essential nature. Why not get in contact with me for a free consultation to find out how I can help.
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