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Unsolicited Advice? Um, Thanks, But No Thanks

by verdemama on March 16, 2010

Yesterday was one of those days I really had to talk myself down from the ledge, figuratively speaking.

I recently faced some criticism about the way I parent and was bombarded with unsolicited advice, which really got me upset and made me question what the hell I was doing. I’ve spent the last year reading, learning, experimenting and following my gut instincts, on duty 24/7, getting to know my little man and figuring out all his many quirks that make him who he is, and I was feeling pretty good about how things were going, until… There’s no need to hash out the details, because I think we’ve all been down that road before. The real problem is that I allowed the criticism to eat away at me until the point where I was questioning everything I was doing.

So Orion and I went to the park looking for some zen and to hang out with the trees; there’s nothing like getting out into nature for a little clarity. (Or in the case of this city girl, nature = a couple acres of green space in the midst of a sprawling megalopolis. Which works for me in a pinch.)

Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I’m feeling much better.

Because you know what? Any first-time parent is bound to make some mistakes. No one embarks on this voyage knowing everything; we fumble along until we start to see some light here and there. Parents can drive themselves crazy with all the things they’re “supposed to” and “should be” doing—and we certainly don’t need anyone else’s help making us neurotic. Really what we need to be doing is loving our kids and doing the best we can. Which is absolutely my game plan. It’s my life, my family, my decisions, and it’s my right to make my own mistakes. And just because I’m not doing things your way doesn’t make it a mistake.

Obviously my kid is amazing so I must be doing something right. I just need to (re)learn to trust my own instincts and embrace confidence.

We’re doing just fine, don’t you think?

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