Are you kidding me?
We don’t want to hear this. We’ve been told doing it right the fist time is important. It’s the best way. Otherwise we really shouldn’t even try, right?
Not only is that completely unrealistic, it’s impossible in mothering.
Indeed, screwing up is good for us.
We are bound to mess up. Especially when it comes to discerning good advice, it gets dicey. The biggest pitfall is trying to follow advice or techniques that don’t work with our personalities or those of our kids’.
Here are some real gems from my own mommy experience:
With little babies….(a.k.a Pumpkin Muffins in my house)
Well meaning people actually gave the advice to moms that somehow a hungry, lonely or tired baby is somehow manipulative. I heard so many folks say everything from “he’s jerking your chain” or “you’re spoiling her” —- all about a baby that was less than 6 months old. Some of these people had millions of devotees.
I quickly learned that I couldn’t be one of them, but not before I felt completely inadequate because I couldn’t stick to “parent controlled” anything during infancy. Parents were controlled, all right — into thinking that any or all of mothering was that simple. Trust me, we know when our kids are actually taking advantage of us. Holding them when they need it isn’t one of them.
And little children…..(a.k.a. Little Pumpkins around here)
In parenting, we must stay consistent. Consistent. Consistent!! But, we aren’t perfect, remember? Let’s look at the old “get back on the horse” metaphor. We have to recover when we stray. If we err on the side of doing the same thing the same way with our kids more than 85% of the time, that’s excellent! Thinkng that only 99.9% or higher is success is, again,
And bigger kids…..(a.k.a. Big Pumpkin Heads. You know, the ones that are teenagers and older. The ones we can’t step over!)
We should never, ever share our big mistakes with our kids. They’ll lose respect for us. We have a right to complete privacy. Right?
To this I would say, “How do you feel when someone that’s close to you shares their mistake as help for you to avoid making the same ones?” I’m honored, mostly. I believe our kids are too. At least a few of mine have said so, thankfully. It’s been worth the risk if it helps them.
We usually don’t know something is bad mom advice for us until we give a try. But, be encouraged. Sometimes we all have to try something first to know it’s not for us.
We have to mother from those places that give us peace, not that work against how God made us. Amen?
And there you have it…
What advice were you given that just flat didn’t work for you? Why?
Where do you need to let go of conventional wisdom and go with what works for you and your family?
Have you ever tried what you thought was foolish advice and it turned out to be pure wisdom?