My dad is a “make it happen” kind of guy. Willing to take risks. Speak his mind. Goes for it. Fortunately, he has passed those onto me as well. Boy, has that served me well.
But…sometimes when you speak out, when you do things differently, you stand out. And let’s be honest, that doesn’t always feel comfortable.
When my oldest son was nearing preschool age, all the Moms in the neighborhood were talking about what the best preschools were. Who the best teachers were. It was a given…preschool was what you did.
We toured the schools. I asked questions. Lots of questions. But, my gut told me it was not the best option for my son. SO…I listened to my gut. We kept him home. And let me tell you, it was against the grain in my neighborhood. I’m sure the rest of those Mommas thought I was making a mistake. That I was nuts. Sure, I second guessed myself at the beginning, but it didn’t take long to be confident that I absolutely made the best decision for my son.
That standing out and doing things differently was just a drop in the bucket compared to how I had to do it with my girls. When my girls joined our family almost 17 years ago, we started off parenting them just like we had been parenting our biological boys. Let me tell you...that did not work.
What I discovered was that I needed to meet each of my children where they were at. And…that did not look the same for everyone. It certainly didn’t look like how my neighbors were parenting. How people at church thought I should parent. Nor how my extended family were doing it.
The fact is, my girls came to me with a lot of loss. With pain. With wounds. With the impacts of trauma. And what they needed from me, and what they deserved from me, was to meet them right where they were at.
So…I parented differently. Wow, what a difference it made!
Reality is, it wasn’t always easy to do it that way. Lots of times it would have been easier to do it like everyone else. It was hard to be questioned by others. To get judged. To get that look. That look as if to say, “You are such a controlling mom.” To feel like everyone else thought I was nuts.
My children are my top priority. So I had to choose what was best for THEM. Not what was easiest or most comfortable for me. Let me tell you…it paid off! For my girls. For my boys. For my entire family.
Even to this day, 17 years later, I still parent this way. Even when it is hard. Even when others think I am nuts. It is what my children need and deserve.
With love and dedication to you and your family,
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