I really appreciate hearing my co-parents tell stories of their children. How my fellow SoMoms understand my concerns and validate them as part of being a parent. How a total stranger stops and compliments me or my kids even for the little things that made her smile. I like that despite, at times, I feel uncertain treading the path of motherhood, I do feel good being a mother to two little human beings.
I am not a perfect mother nor do I try to be. Even though I’m a Virgo, I have learned to let go being a perfectionist but I haven’t let go of being meticulous. Trying to be perfect can only cause one stress, it can also let the perfectly imperfect moments of your life slip away. So when there are times that I am overwhelmed, I stop & try to find my center. I breathe in and out, I pause to reflect on the things I am grateful for, then go back to my daily routine. If there’s one thing I’ve mastered over the course of two pregnancies, two first year birthdays, two different sets of gender-based baby items and almost 5 years of being a mother, it is that I am focused on being the mother of my children.
This is the only thing that matters to me as a mother. I want the best for my children and I try to give them the best things in life. More importantly, I try to be a fun, loving and nurturing mom to them.
While it’s a must that we are part of a mom group that can help us understand and further appreciate the role we play as our children’s teachers, we must also be aware that each mom is different and each child is different as well. We like to share our thoughts and experiences to our fellow mommas and sometimes, we overdo it by unconsciously giving unsolicited advice. I admit, I sometimes do this and in return I do get unsolicited advice. But you know what? I honestly don’t mind and I really love hearing them. Why? Because it’s the support I need from them as I know there will be takeaways from all their stories and from all the experiences we share to each other.
I know most mommas feel otherwise when hearing these unsolicited advice from their fellow momma friends or worst, from strangers or people they barely know. Just when you’re about to lose it because of all these comments, thoughts, opinions coming from people you like, love, or not; from people you know or don’t, just remember: breathe it all in, love it all out.
Most would feel offended, even threatened by other mother’s stories, especially achievement regarding their children or parenting skills. Please, do not be. Instead of feeling so, think about all these people exerting effort and energy to share something wonderful to you as a co-parent not to mock you or to brag (although most of the time, MILS are like these). All these are just overwhelming byproducts of parents wanting to share their experiences as fellow caretakers of little human beings. One way or another, all they want to do is to help you through your parenting journey.
So, breathe it all in, love it all out is my one and only parenting mantra. While it is easy to nitpick other parents for their parenting style, in the end, we all just want what’s best for our children. So why not focus on your parenting instead? This is exactly what I’ve been trying to do for the past 5 years. I get a few tips and tricks from my fellow mommas and even sometimes try these to my children, some work but others don’t. I truly welcome stories and life-experiences from other parents because I do respect them & learn from what they share. But I also do know that I do what I know I am capable of, not what society nor my fellow mommas tell me to, I am responsible for my children’s well-being, for teaching them values and letting them shine on their own. At the end of the day, all I want to do is breathe it all in and love it all out, so that for my children, I am the best momma there is.
What inspired me to write this medyo personal post was an article that I shared on Facebook a few weeks ago that shows the differences mothers have which can often times steer judgement. It’s about time parents, mostly mothers should understand this- yes we are all parents, but we differ when it comes to parenting our children, and that’s not a bad thing at all.
Here are some of the photos from the photo series that resonated with me the most because at some point, I am both these two different women to both of my children.
I did both. Lil’ Ms. GJG was breastfed ’til three months old only and until now drinks formula milk, while lil’ Mr. GJG was breastfed for a year and a half and is now drinking fresh milk.
I didn’t immediately lose my pregnancy weight with lil’ Ms. GJG, I struggled compared after giving birth with lil’ Mr. GJG when I lost my baby weight even before he turned one year old.
I let my kids eat whatever they want, until lil’ Ms. GJG requested I serve her only her favourites because she can eat twice or thrice as much as what food is only in front of her. With lil’ Mr. GJG, he simply copies what her Achi (sister) wants to eat.
In my case, its the Achi (lil’ Ms. GJG) who co-sleeps with us and lil’ Mr. GJG is the one who sleeps in his room.
More like YouTube videos of Hi-5, Play Doh, Sesame Street and so much more. I don’t restrict them because they learn so much from it and no, they’re not anti-social nor are they too consumed with just watching their favorite shows. They are happy, fun, loving and healthy kids. I’m proud to say that both my kids learned the basic colors, shapes, numbers 1-10 through watching musical shows on YouTube, Disney Junior, Baby TV & Nickelodeon. So why would I stop them from using technology when they benefit from it?
I do both. Yep. I try as much as I can to practice peaceful parenting but sometimes, I couldn’t help but yell at them because they’re too complacent to follow me when I’m peacefully parenting them. Heehee. I know most parents would be as much as guilty as I am, while others really don’t yell nor spank their children. Hey, like I said, each parent has a different parenting style and I totally respect that. Personally, a combination of good cop, bad cop kind of parenting works for me and my kids because they know most of the time I’m their best friend but when they need to listen but won’t, a little call to attention works.
It is in our choices that determine how we are as parents and there are many factors to consider every time we make a choice, not only for ourselves but mostly for our children. So don’t let guilt creep in nor advice from other people let you decide for yourself and your family. Respect the choices and the parenting style of each parent- this is the best advice I can give you if you’re a mother, a father, a parent. Do what you think is best for yourself and for your child. After all, all we want to do is raise our children the best way we can and fill their life with love and care. Let’s end the mommy wars by loving more and judging less. I hope you too can spread awareness on how we all have different parenting skills & styles, and that respecting each other is the best parenting advice you can give to your fellow parents.
Here’s a little recipe that can further enhance your being a parent.
Just breathe it all in, love it all out.
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