Single Mothering Like A Boss
Opinions about parenting-what I’ve reflected on and learnt
I find there is some really fantastic and truly helpful info out there about parenting. Especially when you are doing it on your own and you don’t have a partner in crime (actual adult in the room, not just an idea in your head) to run ideas by. However, I also feel that there is a lot of crud that can not only be super unhelpful, but also super ’judgy’, which is just plain annoying and upsetting.
A friend recently asked for my thoughts about a well-publicised older male on his recent views on this generation’s parenting. I had watched an article on these views the night before and had already collated my thoughts. Hearing that our generation’s parenting is overprotective, misguided and antiseptic causing a prevalence of mental health issues in young people (a very brief summary pulling out some of the worst points I admit) annoyed me.
I must also add that I do have a tendency to resist hearing about parenting from older men who may or may have not done much hands-on parenting themselves.
I’m not sure if there is a prevalence of mental health issues among our youth any more than there used to be, I do know we name it more now. I used to literally tear my hair out with anxiety as a kid, photos of me on childhood holidays with bald patches and all, and my parents had no idea what was going on for me. I just thought I was strange.
Some of these opinions we are exposed to have some interesting points. Balancing that fine line between building resilience in our kids while protecting them from unnecessarily harmful risks is bloody hard. And I do sometimes lay awake at night worried about how much I’m f&%king my kids up and whether they’ll be OK in this world and wanting to protect them. Most of us are really just trying to do the best we can.
So what have I learnt from this recent reflection?
- I try not to stress about what I should be doing/deciding/involved in or not be involved in order to encourage my kids to build their resilience. I now trust my gut. I know when they need me to intervene, I know when to stand back, I know what to protect them from and what to encourage them to be part of. Particularly with the recent death in our family, I could see how resilient my kids really are, and how heart wrenchingly vulnerable they can be too. Trust your gut. You know your kids better than anyone.
- My kids will show me when they truly need me most. They trust me above all else. I will see their confidence reign as much as I will see their anxiety rise. I can trust in our relationship to show this.
- I have times when I’m honestly not that great a parent. Many! I’m tired, lonely, busy, hormonal, stressed, preoccupied. I tell them when I’m not up to par. I don’t feel the need to give them too many details except, I really love ya, I’m just having a crappy day. And they are actually OK with that, because I’m being honest.
- Each day is a new day. If something didn’t work parenting wise and went really bad the previous day, don’t wallow. Get up, acknowledge that it didn’t work and make an effort to try something new next time. I cannot emphasise how many days of the week I get up telling myself this.
There will ALWAYS be an opinion about what you’re doing or not doing as a parent. Just remember, above all, we love our kids and we are trying to do the best we can, and that is pretty damn good!
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I’m Lou Lou
Hi there gals. I’m Lou Lou and five years ago I lost my best friend, the love of my life, the father of my children and my stability when my husband died very suddenly and my world was completely torn apart. I literally had absolutely no idea how I would move forward and honestly didn’t think I would. I wanted to fast forward my life to a minimum of ten years on.
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