Can parents do no wrong?

by Stephen Gosewich
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Over the past 5-10 years, there has been a proliferation of mommy blog sites on the Internet.
 
There are literally thousands upon thousands of blogs written by mothers for other mothers to read.
 
It’s daunting.
 
Many blogs are written by frustrated first-time mothers who are overwhelmed by motherhood. They write extensively about issues around lack of sleep, lack of sex, lack of interest in sex, lack of time for themselves, not enough time to get everything done, freaking out over every little sound their child makes and if something is wrong with them.
 
They swap stories with each other and have formed a very large on-line community.
 
Nowadays, it isn’t enough to simply buy a few books like “What to Expect When You are Expecting” and go with your own instincts or the help of your own mother when your baby finally comes along.
 
Now it seems some mothers can’t take any kind of step forward without first consulting their online friends.
 
They join online communities, including Pink and Blue Baby and ask their online buddies for advice on clothing, programs, breast-feeding, allergies, diapers, eco-friendly products, organic foods, where to buy the latest and greatest stroller…the list is endless!
 
I get the feeling from reading some of the comments I see online, that some of these mothers are terrorized beyond paralysis. They really haven’t got a clue what to do and certainly don’t trust themselves with their actions for fear that they might do something to harm their baby.
 
I remember back to when my first daughter was born. I recall her little 7 pound body lying there on the change-table in her bedroom. Her legs looking like little twigs, swimming in the smallest sized diaper we could find.
 
My wonderful, late mother-in-law reminded me that newborns are not like “Chinese Porcelain Dolls”. They are sturdy and are built to last.
 
She was right.
Newborns are a lot like “weebles”…they wobble but they won’t fall down.
 
What I mean is, they are pretty resilient and are quite capable of bouncing back from any mistakes you might make in taking care of them.
 
My two kids have endured light tumbles down stairs, falling out of beds, off of dining room tables…and they are perfectly all right. In fact, these days when my wife and I share stories with them about these little mishaps…they laugh!
 
I will always remember one particular incident when they were both much younger. At the time, my youngest was about 4-5…making my older daughter about 7 or 8.
 
It was the week before school started and my wife and I were trying to establish some ground rules concerning television viewing habits and homework.
 
I tried to come up with an idea that would make them both accountable. They needed to promise my wife and I that there television viewing would be limited and could only occur if, and only if, all their homework and school review was completed.
 
So…doofus that I am…I created a contract for both of them to sign that outlined the terms of the agreement and consequences should they not uphold the terms of the contract.
 
My older kicked up a huge fuss, balling her eyes out telling us it was totally not fair that she had to sign a contract.
 
My younger daughter was more compliant and signed the document, spelling out her name in big block letters with two of the letters printed backwards.
 
I have never seen anything more adorable then her name printed out on this legal-looking document with the N and the E printed backwards.
 
While she did sign right away, after seeing her big sister respond in the way that she did, she decided to kick up a fuss as well.
 
I screwed up.
 
It was the stupidest idea I could have ever come up with. I felt horrible that I distanced my children from me by being such a “heavy”.
 
I decided to take the two contracts and tear them up right in front of them.
 
I acknowledged to both of them that I made a mistake and asked for their apologies, which they both did. I can tell you there is nothing better than receiving a hug from your children after they have forgiven you.
 
Parents make mistakes. And its ok.
 
I used to think my parents were invincible and could do no wrong. They knew everything and would always steer me in the right direction.
 
Well, it took many years to figure out that they are human beings and are prone to messing up now and then.
 
Your kids will endure if you make a blunder here and there. They are resilient and tend to not hold grudges for very long (we parents could learn a thing or two from them about holding grudges).
 
If anything, I think that when your children see you make mistakes, it takes pressure off of them to be perfect. We all learn from our mistakes…don’t we?
 
Life is not smooth all the time. It’s filled with bumps along the way. So long as you love your child and show them your affection by being with them; listening to them and giving them your attention, your instincts will rule the day and make you a fabulous parent
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