Mothering is an art, not science. No one is going to do it the way you do it or see it as you do. Don’t compare yourself to other mothers. Not only are you different, but your canvas is different. The brushes and color palette you select to shape and groom your beloved children will also be unique. The saying “different strokes for different folks” never rang truer than it does when parenting. New mothers are the target of countless advice of what to do and what not to do. I include myself amongst those advising as evident by this post! My point is glean from the noise what is important for your journey and don’t be afraid to say “No, thank you.” Note the comment section on my blog!
You’re not butter, jam, or any of those delish condiments, so don’t spread yourself thin. You can’t be all things to all people, and that includes your children. What you do for one child, doesn’t have to be done for the other child. Instead focus on what each child needs. Just because you buy a pair shoes for one child, doesn’t mean you have to buy shoes for the other child. I once met a mother who had one child in private school and the other child in a public school. Young, I silently questioned this mother’s motive. Later, I learned that educationally, one child needed something different that was not being provided by the public school her child attended. Being equitable is a far more effective way to parent than being equal, because it shows your children you are paying to attention to their individual needs, and not always to what they want.
Don’t do for your children, what they can do for themselves. Ask yourself what kind of adult do you want your children to grow up to be? Do you want them to be dependent or independent adults? Reliant or self-reliant? Make no mistake. The human condition is optimised when we love, show generosity, and support each other. Love your children abundantly, but do not spoil them. For a spoiled child becomes not only a spoiled adult, but one that is self-centred, dependent, and entitled and who will one day undoubtedly face a world that is not so equal or equitable.
Here lies some other examples… When babies are learning to eat, we teach them how to hold a spoon; we help them to move it toward their mouth so they can feed themselves. And, when it’s time to potty train, we teach the boys to aim. We even provide target practice to amuse them! Once babies start gaining control and strength in their bodies, we support them as they labor to stand upright and then walk, holding on to their tiny hands with every step. But then… After a while, we know we have to let go to see if they can do it alone. Inevitably, they fall on their tush and we help them get back up again! But, soon they learn to get up on their own. These examples show there’s balance that exist in early mothering that for some of us becomes lost as our children grow emotionally, socially, and developmentally.
Create beautifully. The universe is counting on you.