Monday, September 17, 2012

Motherhood Mondays - I Will Parent Differently

I have been thinking about how to keep this blog focused as I work on my larger writing projects as well. Often I just type what is on my mind one day and through it on the world wide screen. But that can feel disjointed to myself and the reader. Also I know some of my readers are interested in my posts on motherhood, some on faith and some enjoy both.

So I am going to try something new starting this week. Mondays will be about my experiences in Motherhood. Wednesdays will be for me to share what I am learning about God and how I am growing in my faith. For now, Fridays will be From the Archives. Obviously, at least in my life, these topics often overlap and mix together to create something that cannot be categorized but I am going to try to put some rhyme to my reason.

Today, is Motherhood Mondays so without further ado...

I love my kids dearly, fiercely. I love them in ways that I did not expect when we decided to start this family of ours. I absolutely want what is best for them.

But I will parent differently than you.

Sometimes I admit my parenting differences will be due to sheer laziness or lack of interest. I don't like crafts and science projects require serious clean up. I don't want to fight with my kids about clothes each day so if you see them wearing shorts in the winter, know that our pediatrician has approved this choice as long as the temperature does not dip below freezing. Also, our dinner table selections are pathetic. I know. But the thing is I really don't care. There are fruits and vegetables on their plates, most nights, but they are probably carrots and grapes which I serve them ninety percent of the time. I don't enjoy cooking.

I do enjoy baking and eating treats together. So some of my parenting choices will be different than yours because I like different things than you do, my passions may not match your passions. We will go to the yogurt shop for our after school snack more than we should and we may even have cookies later that night. My kids are all healthy, growing and active, so I am not going to worry about their sugar intake just yet. I also love reading so we will spend many an afternoon going to the library where we will have another late fee for that book we keep forgetting to return. We will spend our Saturdays in the fall watching college football and I will indoctrinate my kids on the superiority of the Beavers and Wolverines.

We have different means as parents, different amounts of money and time, and that will cause us to parent differently. I certainly don't begrudge my friends who can give their kids more but we will never be able to keep up with the Joneses. Not in this neighborhood. My kids have to buy their own iPad apps and video games. They get one pair of tennis shoes. The tooth fairy only brings one gold dollar coin per tooth. We vacation at hockey tournaments, always grateful when the tournament is near a vacation destination like Disneyland this year. I set boundaries on our time by allowing my kids to only do one major after school activity at a time. My family may spend way more time at the ice rink than seems normal but I will not become a taxi service, always driving and never getting to spend time with my kids at the activities they have chosen.

But I will also parent differently because I have different beliefs, values, and morals than you do. No judgment from me. Just different. We will bring them up in our faith. We will require church attendance. We will pray with them, read the Bible with them, and remind them as they leave our arms that Jesus loves them. We will remind them to love their neighbor and to do the right thing when no one is looking. They will be required to call adults Mr. or Mrs. (or Dr. or Miss or whatever is appropriate) and to thank their coaches and teachers. We will push them to do their personal best at school and not care about the grades. My kids may not be allowed to play the same video games as yours or they may be allowed to read books you would never let your kids read that young. We will be teaching our boys that sex is for marriage. We will also teach them that if they do choose to have sex, they need to take responsibility to protect themselves and their partner. Oh and that condoms break.

I will parent differently because my kids are different. They are each unique. Wonderful compilations of their father and my DNA along with their life experiences and some magic dust sprinkled in there somewhere. My kids have different needs and so I parent them differently.

There is not a right or wrong here.

No judgment from me.

Just a desire for understanding.

How do you parent differently?


  1. Sometimes, I think everything I do to parent my kids is "different." But, seeing as my kids are happy and so am I, it seems to be working out! ;)

    1. Exactly. It works for our family. We are happy, all of us, me included. I just wish more people could understand that different doesn't mean better or worse. Just different.