Humans of New York (HONY) has featured plenty of parents over the years, but a recent post from a mother about her young child really resonated with us, and we think it'll do the same with many of you. Moms have enough to deal with without having to worry about being judged everywhere we go. But that's what happens, isn't it? There's some societal expectation of what a mom should be like, how kids should behave, and anything that falls outside of that expectation is met with judgement, ridicule, or scorn.
It's hard enough raising these little people without having to do it under the watchful (and judgmental) eyes of the rest of the world! As much as we try to be "perfect", it doesn't take long to realize there's no such thing. Everything you do is going to be judged by someone - so honestly, you may as well just do the very best you can and ignore the noise from everyone else. One of the reasons we love the social media project HONY is that the stories feature real people, with real hopes and dreams and issues and struggles.
As with the majority of HONY posts, this one was anonymous - just a picture, a location, and a story. This mother with her daughter (who is so stinking cute we can't even stand it) talks about how she and her partner have struggled to parent their toddler. They used to pick her up and calm her down to placate the people around them. But we all know that isn't sustainable, and after a while, your toddler will 100% play you to keep the game going, right? So they decided to stop. Stop giving into her demands. Stop reacting to every single cry (because as parents we know when our kids are crying because they need us, or crying because they can).
The woman shared a story about being chastised by a stranger who didn't like that she wasn't picking up her tantruming toddler, who was strapped safely into her stroller. And the mama had such a great response: "It was the moment I stopped caring about what others think. It’s my daughter. I know that she’s safe. I know that she’s OK. I’m preparing her to live. To be a fruitful adult. And life isn’t about getting what you want." THIS!
Parenting is so much this.
It's about doing what YOU know is best for your kids, teaching them lessons and trying to mold them into these people who will need to be able to function as young people and adults one day, and damn what anyone else thinks about your methods. We loved this message, and this story, and it felt like she was speaking to mothers everywhere. You have to do what's best for your kids - and that may not always be what other people agree with or like. Too bad for them.
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