I’m not really into labels. I’ve never been one to fit into one particular group. In school, I was never popular, a jock, a nerd (ok I was but in my own way so I still didn’t fit into that group), part of the artsy crowd, a brown-noser, or whatever other crowds we were lumped into. I’ve always liked being my own group and I’m starting to see the same traits forming in my own kids, which (in a way) is kinda great.
But who was to know that when I had my first child, I needed to become a member of one of the coveted Mamma labels…was I going to be a traditional Mum? Perhaps a crunchy Mum? A (heaven forbid) helicopter or tiger Mum? Attachment Mum? Free-range Mum? I didn’t realize this was the expectation and once again, I find myself a outsider, dabbling in each group, dipping a toe into the World of one group with one child, disregarding that same group with the next child. Parenting is crazy.
Do we cloth diaper? Yes. Do we use disposables? Yes. Do I breastfeed? Kind of. (Exclusive Pumping Insanity over he-ere!) Do I formula feed? I’m not against it. Do I follow my kids at the playground? When they go through scary-walk-off-the-top-of-the-giant-playstructure phases, absolutely (ahem, looking at you, Baby Bird)! Do I let them solve their own problems? Yes. Do I step in to help when I see frustration levels escalating and I know we won’t make it out the door, like ever, otherwise? For sure. Do I cook homemade from-scratch meals and snacks? Yes. Do we indulge in the occasional pizza or fish sticks? Yup! Am I a Pinterest/Bento Box Mum? Yes. Have I had my fair share of Pinterest fails? Unfortunately 😜. Do I love my children unconditionally and will I do everything in my power to prepare them for the real world and mold them into decent human beings? Ummm, rhetorical much?
Do I do everything in my power to ensure my family is as well-rounded and happy as I can make it? Of course. And I’m pretty positive every other parent does too in the best way they see fit. Do other parents adhere to one specific label? Maybe, but I’d like to bet that most parents are a little bit of different groups, because unlike those clique-y highschool groups, parenting is an ever-changing adventure.
Know that just because you may not ‘fit’ into one group or another, I’m sure you are still doing a bang-up job. Even though you may have to adapt your strategies many times along the way, through ‘phases’, between kids (again, looking your way, Baby Bird!), and as your kids grow, it’ll all work out. Parents do everything they feel they can for their kids. I know I do, I know YOU do.
Let’s all enjoy a pat on the back and an indulgence of your choice for the stellar job we are all doing. Our kids will be raised in different ways, will belong to different groups, will carry different labels, or perhaps they won’t. Some will get along and others will not. Some will be leaders, some followers. Keep on doing what you’re doing. You know what’s best for your family. I’m rooting for you! I’m hoping you’re rooting for me too. Every one will be a shining light in the world in their own way. That’s life. It’s a beautiful thing.