Why is it that parents are always under the spotlight? It's everyone's business if we choose to, I don't know, put a child leash on our kid at a crowded place, or if we choose to carry our 8 year-old whose feet hurt, or if we reprimand our kids in public.
We are human, just like everyone else. We are entitled to make mistakes, just like everyone else. We can make the wrong choices, just like everyone else. We should strive to be good parents, but if we don't meet the mark, it's between us and our kids and nobody else should feel the need to concern themselves with it.
Above being stress-free, scream-free, and screen-free, I aim to be a guilt-free parent. I aim to be the best parent I can be for my kids, and by that I mean that I set the standard, not Google, not any publication that says "How to be a good parent", not anything that I might read on anyone's Facebook feed.
I think that deep down, we all know what it takes to be a good parent. We know the right things to do, we know the things to avoid. We know because we all have an inbuilt values system that guides us. Somewhere along the line we've let social media influence this.
Folks, let's not do this to ourselves! It doesn't matter which of our friends homeschools, or brings their kids out on awesome adventures, or creates beautiful crafts with their kids. Blogs are great - they are entertaining, and some are even inspiring (by the way, thanks for being here). Pinterest is awesome because there are so many ideas to browse. Facebook keeps us updated with friends and we can see what they've been up to with their kids. Instagram is a quick way to share a snippet of your life and see someone else's. That's all great, BUT just please bear in mind that everyone's life situation and priorities are different from yours. Please, don't feel guilty about not doing the same things as they are. Plus, it's not a competition!
You're probably doing a great job with your kids too. I mean, you're not serving them mud daily or anything are you? Why not focus on what you're doing right instead of the things that have gone wrong? Scraped knees and bruised shins are all part of childhood; scars or not, stop blaming yourselves. Impolite kids? Haven't we all been through that stage ourselves? - Stop blaming yourselves. Big fat zeros on spelling tests? It's not you, it's them; stop blaming yourselves. Big sister always snatching from younger brother? Young brother keeps pinching older sister? Kids will be kids and it's all part of childhood; stop blaming yourselves.
No, don't just leave everything be because the world would go chaotic (particularly in your home). Do what you need to do, rope in your other half too, but recognise that you are not solely responsible for everything that goes wrong so don't feel guilty about everything!
Yes, we want the best of everything for our kids, but as George Michael so rightly puts it, guilty feet have got no rhythm. Shake the guilt off and get into the real parenting groove and live with your kids!
This weird random I-need-to-get-this-off-my-chest-cos-you're-all-good-guys-but-why-don't-you-see-it post was brought to you by Gingerbreadmum who, as you can see, has had too many coffees today.