MamaBlogger365 – Tiger Mom? French Mom? How About Just “Mom”? by Jennifer CovelloBLOG, blogs, Featured, MamaBlogger365, MamaBlogger365, Music, Art, Comedy, Journaling, Poetry, Self-Expression, Women, Modern Motherhood, Feminism, Education, Activism Thursday, March 15th, 2012
I recently read an article in the Washington Post entitled, “What’s So Bad About American Parents, Anyway?” The writer speaks of the parenting styles of the French and the Argentines and the Eskimos and the Japanese in comparison to American parents and speaks of how we are once again looking to yet another group to figure out the parenting puzzle.
Great! Just what we need as mothers. Not only do we compare ourselves to other mothers in our own inner circles, now we have mothers thousands of miles away to compare ourselves to. What’s wrong with this picture, ladies? Can we stop the madness and just be ourselves?
Not long ago I attended a meeting and quickly noticed a recurring theme when the mothers would introduce themselves or ask a question. That theme was guilt, not feeling good enough, and stressed. It pained me to see these young mothers in such turmoil over their parenting skills that it brought some to tears. I wanted to reach out and hug every single one of them and say, “Don’t worry! You’re doing fine. And if you really do mess up them up, you can pay for their therapy.” (See, there’s always a solution!)
I say this all the time about my own parenting skills. I’m doing the best I can and if I truly do mess up my own kids, I’ll one day be helping a local psychotherapist into early retirement. Ok, ok, while it is not my intention to Band-aid poor parenting with years of therapy, it is also not my intention to beat myself up every day about not being the perfect mother. And it shouldn’t be yours either.
That’s why articles such as this one and promotions for the latest “parenting expert’s” book tour make me crazy. All these do is reinforce the myth that no matter what you are doing as a mother, it’s not good enough. If you don’t have them involved in any extracurricular activities, you’re not helping them discover their “passion”. Or if they’re overscheduled, you’re contributing to their stress. If you push them too hard in school, you’re an overbearing Tiger mother. But, if you let them experience the results of their lack of commitment, then you’re a lazy parent.
I do not recall saying to myself or my children’s father when we were planning our family that I wanted to be sure to read every single parenting book and ask every parent I know about how to raise children. And I’m pretty sure he didn’t either. What I do remember saying, or at least thinking, was that I wanted a child of my own to raise using the experience and knowledge that I had gained, especially being an older parent, to help form and shape their journey here on earth. Did I read parenting books? Yes. Did I ask for advice from my mom and sisters who had children? Yes. Did I solely rely on this information to parent my two children? No.
We all come into this world with many gifts. Women are blessed with an inner knowing or intuition. Yet we have been trained over the years to ignore this. We have been coaxed and prodded to listen to all the external voices to raise our children, leaving this blessed gift in the dust. And then when we try to tap into it, the voice is so quiet we can barely hear it and out of frustration, we do what every parent does. We Google the problem and rely on whoever paid enough money to get their website up first to answer our questions.
My challenge to you today is to turn up the volume on your intuition and pay attention to it. It may be hard to hear at first but eventually you’ll hear it again and you won’t have to rely on Google search results to address your latest parenting challenge.
Go on… you can do it.
Owner, Founder, Frittabello, LLC
Jennifer Covello is an award-winning author and owner of Frittabello baby gifts. Her passion for motherhood is evident through her writings and her speaking on topics that impact moms and children. As a divorced mother of two children, Ms. Covello, continually searches for the lessons her own children teach her along her parenting journey.