I was reading up on other mom-blogs, like I do occasionally to see what everyone else is doing, look for trends, be inspired and so forth and I came across a troubling guest post from someone who has written a book basically saying how much she wished she had Bounce™ sheets for her towels when she was growing up. Ok, I exaggerate. But still. It was that ridiculous. I am not going to “call her out” or link to the article and start some kind of a “posting war”, but truly, it warrants a response. To be fair, I am sensitive to others criticizing their parents’ skills while raising them. I am constantly worrying that I am not good enough, strong enough, loving enough, smart enough, energetic enough (you get the picture) for my children. I think *most* parents do the best they can with what they have. Often adults and their children have personality clashes and it makes things difficult. This is life people. Hopefully, hopefully, by the time you’re 25 or so, you’ve figured this out. Also, everyone’s “love language” is a little different. G shows his love through technology. Are you laughing? I nearly do every time I think of it, but its true. For my birthday last year I got a car stereo. For Mother’s Day this year I got a new computer. When I went to visit my dad who has been in the hospital, G uploaded all the latest and greatest travel apps on my phone complete with logins and passwords. Its his way of caring. Some show love through spending time together, through words, through acts of kindness or generosity, through gifts. It really varies depending on the person. So, back to my story… the author was promoting her new book and giving new tips about ways to show love to your children without “spoiling” them. Her first tip involved giving her son (he was 4) a $10 balloon because he was brave during a doctor appointment, after she had first promised him an ice cream. I love my kids. More than life, I love my children. They cannot have a $10 balloon for good behavior. If you live within a socio-economic scale where that is the norm, than that is one thing. I don’t. A sticker definitely, an ice cream possibly if there were shots for vaccinations or other medical procedures involved. Ten dollar gifts, no. Her thought process was that even though the balloon cost so much more than a $2 ice cream, she wanted him to know he was worth it. Do your children know the value of ten dollars at 4 years old? Mine didn’t/don’t. I want my children to remember that they are worth my time, my effort and my energy. Money is fleeting. It comes, it goes. Sometimes we have more than others and I’m happy to spend more of it when its available. (Right? LOL!) Sometimes we don’t have a lot of expendable income and so I want my children to know that even then, they are loved. They are valued, we’re still together and that is what matters. I digress. So the author went on to describe how her family did not have a lot of money and so she felt very deprived and like she was not valued by her family. One of her examples was that her mother dried their towels and clothes on a line to save money on their electric bill. (My mother did that because she loved the smell of fresh air in her clothes and linens. Anyway.) She vowed that when she had a family she would have Bounce™ sheets and use the dryer. Now everyone has little things from their childhood that they “vow” they’re never going to do with their children and I get that. Personally, mine involved not forcing my child to eat coleslaw. Ewwww. However, she was on a rant about how devalued she felt because of her family’s income and her upbringing, but it all seemed to be based around money. Her parents provided for her, but they were not wealthy. Some families just aren’t. She seems to have turned out ok. She’s here. She’s an author of some sort. She’s a mother. What I’m trying to get at is, “Could she have done a better job with what her parents had in their situation?”. Because again, *most* parents really do the best they can with what they have. Parents are human too. We make mistakes. Maybe forgiveness comes with time.
Be fierce. Forgive and move on.