I felt compelled to write this blog post after an unwanted conversation that stemmed from a comment about getting rest when children are home. This is no exaggeration but if I want to unwind and treat me, I take a day off when the kids are in school. A “treat me” day is quickly approaching. I need to schedule a wonderful massage, pedicure, manicure and treat myself to lunch. The next comment was “well these are your children blah, blah, blah” and my comment “I know this every day I wake up” and “who can rest when kids are home?” This swirled into “well you parents buy all this stuff for your kids”.
If you are parenting in the 21st century it is beyond a challenging task. For anyone who has not had to parent in forty plus years, please refrain from judging how and why parents today do what we do. Let those words sink in if you plan to have a discussion with me on raising my kids. I am now a single parent raising two children and I am in no way looking for a pity party. Single parenthood makes you stronger by the day and definitely puts your butt in gear for the next round. There are days when you feel defeated but when you set goals to be better and do better you move! My issue with all of this banter is the fact that I put in a lot of time and effort with my kids. Parenting is not about the material things you buy but the memories you create with them and the time you give them. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day so I bought gift bags with chocolates and mailed their cards. We had a dinner at one of our favorite family restaurants, Ruby’s Diner. On their birthdays there is always a dinner planned at their favorite restaurant and Christmas I call myself “Christmas Crazy”. I feel it is important to always celebrate their milestones.
I have a vested interest in my children’s success. In school I will always be my children’s advocate. It is not acceptable for me to drop my kids off and have no interest in what they are receiving each day. Their teachers will know me before the end of the year. Case in point, first grade has been a nerve wrenching experience for me and my little one. It has required utilizing outside resources and trying to hold the teacher accountable for her actions in the classroom. My search for a place to live has me doing all kinds of internet research on specific areas. I say all of this to say that my other full-time job of parenting is not for the faint of heart. There are a million things to juggle while trying to keep my sanity.
As far as “parents buying things” my feeling on that statement is simply, it is every parent’s prerogative to spend their money on whatever they please. I have to manage my own money therefore I have no time to worry about other people’s spending. Parents today spend more time with their children and personally I feel mothers are stretched to the limit when it comes to the time they are putting in on a daily basis. One thing I can guarantee is that what I do for my kids was a far exceeds what was required forty plus years ago. This is not to say it was easier but I am a firm believer the next generation(s) should get wiser. I do not believe in giving kids exactly what you had and beyond if the situation warrants itself. How can you expect your child(ren) to grow if they are not exposed to experiences beyond your upbringing?
I make no apologies about how I parent and what I do for my kids. This is a more challenging job than my real 9 to 5 and the ultimate return is PRICELESS! Parenting provides no instruction manual for and definitely no room for critiques or judgement.