Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Don't Beat Yourselves Up!

          Yesterday we had another birthday in our home. My third child turned 13! I have three teenagers in my house. Holy cow! This led me to thinking about the early days of parenting versus the teen years. Does it really matter how they came into the world? Did sleeping arrangements or feeding methods affect anything?? Was it worth the stress now that they're older? Let's play a fun game called Match The Kid!

       A.   This child was the 21.5 hour labor where I received an epidural 4 hours before birth. We also had pitocin. Said child slept with us, was breastfed for 16 months, but also had formula.

       B.   Next child was a 12 hour completely natural labor and birth. Child was breastfed for three months and then put on formula. Baby slept with us most of the time.

        C.  Last child was a 6 hour completely natural labor and birth. This one was breastfed for 18 months, but given formula on occasion. Baby also slept with us.

          Now that you know those little tidbits, I'll tell you about each child.

        1.  This child is very sweet, loves their siblings, gets straight A's, listens 99% of the time. Has only ever had one health problem. Child is very respectful and helpful.

        2.  Next child can be moody, but is generally an angel. Get's B's. Is helpful towards older adults and seniors. No health issues, healthy as can be. Respectful when not moody.

         3. Next child can also be moody, but an angel as well 99% of the time. Gets straight A's. No health problems. Very helpful and respectful, also when not moody.

So, going with what mothers are told and fed about birth and trivial parenting decisions, I'm here to say it doesn't matter. Our kids will become who they become due to not only their personalities, but in how we actually raise them. What are you TEACHING them? How do you TREAT them?? That is where it all lies. If your child feels loved, accepted, and supported you're going to have an awesome kid! If you put your child down, don't show love, or treat them horribly you are going to be in for a huge rude awakening.

All of our kids are going to go through stages where they test the waters and, I believe, this also plays a part in who they turn into. Your reaction and behavior will determine the severity of these tests. We don't have to be doormats, but we also can't be doorstops. Sometimes we have to seriously lay down the law regardless, but many of the things kids do aren't really worth getting into it with them over. Have you ever heard the term "Pick your battles"? In child-rearing, this is vital.

Next time you berate yourself for not doing what the sanctimommies tell you that you should do, walk into a high school and try to pick out the children who were birthed or fed certain ways. I promise, you won't be able to tell!
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