Claiming to be a “good mom” seems like it’s taboo in this world. We often shy away from telling people we’re good at something, especially parenting. I experienced an incident recently that encouraged me to stop that rhetoric in its tracks.
A few weeks ago my 15 year old son came home from school and told me that “Everyone was losing their minds over the women’s rights topic.” I stopped dead in my tracks. We hadn’t talked about this. I didn’t teach him about this. I didn’t tell him my thoughts on this. I hadn’t prepared him for this on his own! I was a deer in headlights.
“What did YOU say?” knowing most days he wasn’t shy about sharing his opinion, whether we wanted it or not. I stopped breathing waiting for his response.
“Mom! Do you really think that I wouldn’t stand up for what is right? I would never tell anyone what they can or can’t do?!”
Let me tell you how quickly I exhaled! I was SO proud of my son. I just stared at him.
“I’m proud of you” was all I could manage. He grabbed a bottle of water and went to his room like this was no big deal.
It made me wonder, what messages had my children seen, heard, or been impacted by to shape their opinions? Is it how they were raised? For him, is it his current friends, coaches, teachers that formed this? Was it social media?
I decided to pause. I thought to myself, “You are a good mom.”
How often do we say this to ourselves as parents? For a split second I chastised myself: “Don’t do this. Don’t think it was something you did. Don’t take credit for his bravery.”
Then again, I did help shape him. I am his mom. I made sure that I paid attention to what my kids were exposed to, who we surround ourselves with affecting the environment they were raised in. No, I did not do this alone. My husband is a great dad. My family is a great family. My friends are amazing friends. And I am a good mom. It’s ok to say so.
When I think about the ‘white noise’ kids are exposed to, I think of all the conversations my kids have overheard, the social media and television and movies they have been exposed to, the community and activities they participated in. Because I try my best to be a good mom, it means I reached out and asked for help when I knew my family couldn’t do it alone. Asking for help is part of being a good mom.
At the end of each day, I hope that as a community of parents we want the same things for our kids. We want their happiness, their safety, and that they turn out to be good people. This takes our time, energy, and open hearts and it takes many conversations.
In the end they don’t need our opinions forced upon them. If guided appropriately, they will turn into good people and their hearts will shine when we least expect it.
We have lots of ideas on the blog for all of you good mamas to help guide your children to be people you’re proud of! The Teen’s Non-Gift Gift Giving Guide has suggestions for how parents can give their kids what they want the most (hint-It’s you!). Life Lessons Every 13 Year Old (and really, any aged kid!)Should Learn helps us to keep our eyes on what really matters.
Debra Bozik, AAS, LMT, CBE, CD (DONA) – most importantly is a mama. Debi is the Community Doula Program Coordinator for the Child Abuse Council and massage therapist/co-owner Synergy Chiropractic and Holistic Health. When she isn’t working, she loves attending her son’s football games and wrestling meets for North Scott and spending time with her “grown” daughter and best-friend Kailee. She and her husband Chris, are enjoying the freedoms of having bigger kids and finding time together for laughter and love. “I love the balanced chaos that makes our family unique and happy.”