Thursday, March 6, 2014

Not in the business of raising soldiers.

It seems as though we live in a day and age where we, as parents, are all trying to raise the "perfect" child. Maybe we don't even know it, we certainly would never admit it, and most of us would probably deny it, but when you really sit down and think about why we do the things we do {at times}, it makes you wonder why you made certain parenting decisions. Why society as a whole deems to be the expert of your child, and why we often times succumb to what is expected out of us.

You see, from the outside looking in, often times we are judged based on her children.

How they act.
How they look.
What they eat.
What they drink.
Who they play with.
Their clothes.
Their attitude.
Their manners.
They should sleep through the night.
They should eat their fruits and vegetables.
They should share, play nice, and wait their turn.
Be nice, play nice, BE NICE.
No ice cream, cookies, or sugary cereals.
If they misbehave, be sure to tell them that they're "tired."
If they don't listen, be sure to tell them that "it's nap time."
If they act up, be sure to explain that "it's the terrible twos."
If they are fussy about everything, then "it must be teeth."

Don't touch. No. Listen. No. Quiet voices. No. Do this. Don't do that. Why did you do THAT?!

At home? Often times {not always}, but often times, our kids are kids. They get to run around wild, they get to shout at the top of their lungs, they get to bounce on beds, and they get to be as dirty as they want to be. Miss-matched socks, food-stained shirts, and often times {more often than not}, no pants on.

Then you go out in public.

Fix their hair. Make sure their hair bow is on right. Does their outfit match? Don't forget the socks! Be sure to bring treats and toys to keep them busy and quiet. Talk to them in the car about being quiet, listening to mama, and sharing and playing nice. Tell them about the rewards that they will get. And breathe. Don't forget to breathe.

Man. I wish sometimes I could be in the head of those little ones listening to us at times... on pins and needles. I bet this is what they hear: "blah blah blah blah I'm worried about what others may think blah blah blah blah I don't want my child to embarrass me blah blah blah blah you have to be perfect blah blah blah you make mama proud only when you behave blah blah blah blah."

Basically, that sounds about right. BLAH.

Look, I get it. I get the importance of making sure that our children aren't bat shat crazy out in public, that they use their manners, and that they are aware of others and respect their space. Yes. IMPORTANT.

That being said, kids are still kids. If they act up? So be it. Use it as a learning opportunity, address their needs, and be there for them. It need not be a punishment because they do not yet understand the world the way you do. Heck, they MAY understand it better than we do. That they live around a bunch of uptight individuals that just make up rules as they go. While on their high horse and probably making more mistakes about "life" than the little ones around us. I'm talking about myself here as well.

Yes, it is OKAY for our children not to be the perfect angels. It is OKAY for us to be proud of them regardless of whether they use their please and thank you at every.single.opportunity out there. It is OKAY if they may be dirty, or tired, or just not in the mood to talk or smile at anyone else. You know why? Because they are human just like us. Because just like them, sometimes we aren't in the mood. Sometimes, we ourselves don't want to talk to anyone, acknowledge them, or even be friendly with. We ourselves go out not looking our 100% best, acting our 100% best, and feeling our 100% best.

And so can they.

To this day, I regret how worked up I got over some tantrums that E used to throw in public. I can still close my eyes and relive them. Honestly thinking that we were actually doing something wrong as parents. That "OMG my child is THAT kid." What kid do you mean, Becky? The kid who is happy, healthy, and loves life? The kid who just wants to be a kid? THAT kid?

That kid is just THAT... a kid. So let them be little. No need to raise the "perfect" child. Which to me is non-existent. No need to conform to every little thing that the society expects of us. It's not possible, nor is it a place that I ever want to be, living that "perfect" life according to society's standards.

This isn't the military and we aren't into raising soldiers.
I just want my children to be happy.
I want my children to be happy {physically, mentally, and emotionally}.

And I want my children to love life in a way that many of us never learned how to.


  1. So beautifully true!! Thank you for this reminder! I pray that all of us take the time to raise children today!!!

  2. Its days like today that I needed a reminder. Thank you for that. Its hard to remember sometimes that kids should just be kids, and not what we as a society expect them to be. Great post!


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