You have A CHOICE. A choice in however you want to take on the next few years of your life, a choice in how you incorporate parenthood and you-hood in a way that works.
You have the RIGHT. The right to explore how parenthood has been defined by others around you, by the society around you and you definitely have the right to explore what you’ve picked up and taken on as your own definition, and what your deeper intuition is saying to you.
You have the RIGHT. The right to ask questions, to ask yourself, is this really my belief, or someone else’s? What feels right for me? Am I doing it for me, or because I don’t afraid of being judged? What serves me and my family best? What makes me hold back who I really am?
Parenthood is tricky. People are intense about how it should be done. I do believe most people come from a place of kindness… it’s just that they come at it with whatever their own background references are, and assume their background stories and beliefs should be yours, too. That’s a bit silly, isn’t it?
When well-meaning people share their own ‘idea’ of parenthood and attempt to push that style on you (most often without asking for permission,) defuse your irritation by remembering they do come from a good place. Good intentions. When kids are involved people are acting from love, not hate. It’s noisy out there, everyone wants to tell you what you should do. The fun part is though, that you have the right to question everything. Smile and say to yourself “nope.”
I think we all forget, that none of us are parenting experts. There’s no answer. There’s never any one right answer. That’s why the parenting industry is so noisy and loud and clamouring for our attention by dangling the sticks of fear and doubt in front of us (parenting magazines, anyone?) We’re all searching for the answers to parenthood which funnily enough, are within us, not out there.
You have the FREEDOM. You have the freedom to break from the group. Even if everybody REALLY wants you to follow the group and what has been done before and what is done now. Or… what is done now according to some television producer out there, or magazine editor who chooses what gets published and put out to the public.
You have the ABILITY. The ability to embrace doubt, to feel discomfort, feel a bit lonely, and seek out others on the same path, and in the proess, realize that you’re not lonely, or different – you’re perfect just the way you are. Perfectly imperfect.
And hey, if you are a hexagon parent in an octagon world, wicked, that’s space for you and you can celebrate your hexagon-ness. And the beauty of technology is that if you need others, you can find other hexagons to enjoy and share the journey with.
You have the RIGHT. The right to explore which ‘conceptions of parenthood’ you picked up conciously and subconsciously. You have the right to understand how much is habit and how much is intention. Intention is fun in parenthood. It’s where you decide what YOU want and then you practice it. Every day.
You have the DUTY. The duty to get rid of the messaging and beliefs that do not serve you. Get rid of any crap that stops you from being the best version of you. Because the best version of you, is the best parent for your kids. And guess who knows what makes you tick? What makes you happy? That’s right… YOU.
We have a gift in this lifetime, and that is called choice. To really own the freedom of choice though, you have to shake off the burden of being concerned about others’ judgments. You’ll always be judged. Judging is powerless, we don’t have to take a judgement on…. yet we run around like they are lasers and they’ll take off our foot or maybe a leg, or an arm. We are outraged. We are hurt. We frustrated when we get judged. But.. here’s the question…why even take that judgement on board? we could have stepped over that lazer beam instead of walked right into it.
With judgment, the truth is, some people want to sit in their armchairs and be spectators and comment on everything. They aren’t living their life and it’s much more interesting watching you live yours (?) But you know what? They are not your concern.
You’re busy being on the field and in the game.
No athlete would win a game if they paid attention to the audience and followed the advice of 20,000 fans shouting 20,000 different things from every direction.
(So why do we do this in parenthood?)
The only people qualified to tell you if you are an awesome parent are your own kids, and in these early days at least, they will most certainly tell you that you are great, followed by a big wet sloppy toddler kiss, before asking you to get them a snack.
You have the DUTY. The duty to take on only those approaches which are true to you and make you fulfilled – because a damn good parent is any parent, of any style, who is at peace, who is present and who is growing.
I’ll leave you with this thought: According to stats Canada there are almost 10 million mothers in Canada. That’s 9.8 million women with totally different personalities, backgrounds, stories about what it means to be a mother and ‘styles’ of motherhood. There’s plenty of room for all of us.