This may be a little ranty, and I apologize in advance. But Mel had a good post today, and coupled with a huge amount of other factors (included but not limited to PMS) I feel the need to say my piece today.
There is a lot in this world that I just don't give a damn about. DO I have an opinion about it? Yes, most probably. But do I give a damn?! Only if YOUR actions negatively affect me or those I love. You have a different political, religious, or even lifestyle opinion than me? Go for it. I think that having people that believe in many different things is what makes this great world go around. I may not agree with you, but if you are willing to give me your view in a calm, rational manner, I usually like to hear it.There are a few things that I feel passionately about, but I usually speak of those with like minded people. If someone starts to offend me with their words or actions, I tend to just walk away.
That is why all the anger and judgement in the mothering community gets me down.I makes me sad to see the anger and vitriol that comes out of peoples' mouths. I know for a fact that I do things that other people disapprove of. Other parents also do things that I would not choose to do. Honestly, Aaron and I sometimes differ on what the two of US would do in a given situation, and while not 'perfect' parenting.... it happens. And I'll admit to judging other parenting styles myself. Tell me someone that doesn't. And yes, there are a few people in my circle that I limit time with because of their parenting choices, but that is normal too.
Sometimes, I beat myself up about it. Like this weekend, I told Cam he could ride a bike at a birthday party without a helmet on. The rule is that we do not ride bikes without helmets, but this was on a porch in a backyard, and all the other kids were riding. Aaron came around the corner and saw Cam nd promptly picked him up off the bike and told him no riding without a helmet! At first I was horrified. Poor kid is getting mixed messages. But in all honestly, it was all out of love. Aaron showing his love through concern... and of course trying to calm him down (as he starting crying when Aaron took him off the bike) and even apologizing to the little guy, saying "I didn't know Mommy told you it was OK, I'm sorry. Remember it's only OK to ride without a helmet today, at the party, OK?'. But I still feel bad about it 24 hours later. We try to be a parenting team here. Aaron is often more strict than I am, but I'm OK with that. Trust me, our kids have fun. But they do have discipline. And love. Lots of love.
In the end, though. What REALLY matters? Love matters. Unconditional, unwavering love. I live in a pretty affluent part of the country, and all of the parents I know have absolutely no trouble with the basics - food, shelter, and clothing. Every kid I know has toys and good childcare and lots and lots of opportunities. And parents that love them, unconditionally. When thees kids are 18, I'm sure that some will be better equipped for the 'real' world thanks to whatever guidance their parents gave them, but because they were loved, they will be OK.
Can't we all understand that?