Not a Perfect Modern Mom

Hi. My name is Keri, and I'm NOT a perfect modern mom. I let my kids watch television. I let my kids play video games. I make my kids eat their veggies. I am fine with making the kids chicken nuggets every night for dinner. I don't cook a full meal for the family every day. I am a spanker. I don't keep my kids on a tight schedule. I don't call their genitals by their proper names. I tell them that I'm proud of them for even the littlest accomplishments. I tell my kids they are smart. I am introducing them to my religious beliefs and hope that they believe basically the same things, but when they get older if they believe differently, I will respect that. I allow my kids to stay up as late as 11pm (or later) some nights in hopes that they'll sleep in the next day. I let my kids see me making mistakes, and admit when I do (sometimes). I don't douse my kids with hand sanitizer regularly. I let them eat things off of the ground. I don't always give the real answer to "Why?" because sometimes I just don't feel like answering.

In spite of (and maybe even because of) all of these things, I fully believe that my kids will turn out to be wonderful adults who I will love, admire, and respect with all of my heart! Annabelle tells me "I love you Mommy" more times a day than I can count, and Corgan (even though he wants everyone to think he's a grump) is so sweet and full of love! Both of my kids are generally very polite, and I get compliments from others on how well behaved they are (even when I think they've been behaving like terrors). Just like every other mother out there, I've read all of the articles, I've watched all of the tv shows, I've seen (but not necessarily read) all of the books, I've listened to all of the stories of other moms, I've discussed things with my husband, and I've decided on the best way to raise MY children. I don't take these decisions lightly, and in fact, many of the ideals that I had about the kind of parent I would be long before I even had children of my own are still pretty in line with what I practice now. I realize that I will always have more to learn about being a parent and always welcome advice when I'm struggling. I am not easily swayed by "new findings" about traditional parenting being the wrong thing to do. I think a lot of that has to do with learning from my mother's example.

Many of the things that I listed above about what makes me NOT a perfect modern mom are the things that I believe DID make my mom a perfect for our family. I'm sure my brother and sister would 100% agree with me when I say that we never had any doubt that we were loved beyond words (even "up to Jesus' castle and back"), we never had any issues with acting like bullies because we were spanked or over confident, we all did well in school and in the sports and activities that we chose to participate in and never once felt like a failure if we weren't the best, and we all had lots of friends from many of the different typical cliques in school. As adults, we are all very confident in everything that we do, have chosen mates who bring out the best in us and support us, are not sickly people (except when the kids bring the viruses around... then there's just no hope anyway), we eat our vegetables (except for Kyle and his salads), and have relatively healthy eating habits. All 3 of us probably don't get as much sleep as most people do... but maybe we just don't need it. We share a love for God just like our parents do, and we love and appreciate our parents more than they'll ever know! All 3 of us have varying personalities as well, and it was obvious to us even then that our parents adjusted to what each of us needed at the time. I'm not by any means saying that we were perfect kids or that we're perfect as adults, but I think we turned out to be pretty darn good people!

Maybe it's because of the confidence that my parents instilled in me, but I fully believe that as a parent, you equip yourself with all of the "facts" (which are always subject to change) and studies and stories, but then just go with your instincts about how to raise your children because no matter what worked for someone else's kids, they weren't your kids. And no doctor or book or article or other mom should make you feel guilty for the decisions that you've made for your family. If you really love your kids and want the best for them (What mother doesn't?), then you will know their personalities and their individual needs the very best!


Nikki said...

No one's going to agree 100% with everything anyone does, and that's fine. They don't have to. I feel the same way you do about the things I wonder if I should feel guilty about but don't really, because they work for me and my kids.

Your parents obviously did an awesome job and I don't think anyone's worried that your kids won't have a fantastic childhood or won't turn into wonderful adults. :)

Arielle Haze said...

Beautiful, Keri! I love how real you are and that you are just so awesome in every way!

Angelle said...

I totally agree with everything you said. Being a teacher definitely taught me that you can't handle every kid the same way. I guess I need to listen to myself. :)

PS Did something happen to set this off? Is everything okay? said...

well written!

Kathy said...

Did someone insult your parenting skills??? Did you get some advice that was not asked for?

I completely agree too...parents place to much judgement on other parents. You do what works for your family and your kids...nothing works for every kid, even within your own family. Some kids respond really well to schdules and structure and others are fine without it :)
You are one of the most confident ladies I I think you will have very confident well adjust kids :)


Keri Donald said...

Nothing in particular happened... just something I've been thinking about lately... well... since Annabelle was about 9 months old. :) I've gotten a few articles and heard a few stories lately that has brought this to the forefront of my mind, then a segment on The Today Show this morning (that basically said that everything that I'm doing is the wrong way to parent) made me decide to finally just write it all down. :)

Thanks for supporting me ladies. :)

Nicole said...

Being the newest mom in the bunch, I totally agree with you. I sometimes think that Min and I are too laid back to be parents. I didn't read a single parenting book before Tori was born. I try to now a little bit more, but by "a little bit more" I might read a chapter a month. You do what works for you, your children, and your lifestyle. And as long as you are not putting them in imminent danger, I believe that you are being a great parent.