An Apology/Clarification

So, yesterday’s Year-by-Year Training Goals for my children didn’t go so well. Out of the comments I received, most of them were negative. This is quite unusual for my readers, so I made some phone calls, talked to my husband, and tried to see where I went wrong. I have never come so close to wanting to delete a post entirely before. If it hadn’t been for the people that liked, pinned, and shared it, I probably would have.

First, let me share some examples that represent everyone’s main problems with my ‘over the top’ list.

Begin weaning at age 1? There are numerous health benefits to nursing past 1. I also disagree with the sleeping through the night comment. Studies done show alot of babies aren’t sleeping all night at 1 and that is normal.”

The weaning goal got a couple people mad at me. Can we please keep the Mommy wars out of this? This is my list, not yours. As long as my kids are healthy and happy (and quite-roly poly), I might add, it’s not a sin if I choose to wean earlier. I kind of like having my kids two years apart, and when I get morning sick like crazy, I’d like for the older child to not depend on me entirely for his nutrition. If you have the love and ability to nurse until 3, I’m not stopping you!

Bahahaha! Just wait until you have teens and watch all those crazy guidelines of perfection go out the window!”

Oh to be a new mom with all these ambitions and goals of how your child will be just perfect. Well, unfortunately some kids have a mind of their own and all the “training” in the world won’t make a stubborn kid do these things.”

Granted, I’ve never raised a teen before, but I was one before and so was my husband. We had great relationships with our parents and never rebelled. We are going to be expecting the same of our children. The parent/child relationship can work as a team for the child’s ultimate good. I know some kids can be stubborn, but overtime I expect that God will bless our parenting efforts.

There’s also a huge difference between aiming for perfection and expecting it. We will continue to aim for perfection, both for our kids and for ourselves. But do I really expect them to end up perfect at the end? Of course not. We are fallen, sinful, and mortal. We’re going to have shortcomings and mistakes. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to start aiming for mediocrity out of my fear of failure.

Wow. Reading through this list gave me a whole lot of anxiety. My 10 year old is nowhere near this responsible.”

I think it’s obvious you don’t have older kids. Do you really think you’re qualified to be handing out parenting advice?”

First of all, this is not advice. These are goals. God knows, you moms of older children are the ones I should be learning from, not the other way around. I never claimed to have all-knowing wisdom for every age range. I have a gift with organizing and consider myself fairly good at this toddler thing (at least, with MY toddlers), but that doesn’t mean I have it all figured out. I’d be the first to admit that I don’t.

However, I am good at goal-setting. After all, you can’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you’re going. Looking towards the future helps me decide what to do today. Also, be reassured, that because my goals are still ‘untried’, I try to avoid using them to pass judgment on others ahead of me. Don’t feel judged.

Sex talk at age 8? I don’t think I will be explaining to my 8 year old daughter what sex is just yet!”

Okay, then change it. You don’t have to follow my list for your children. This number was based on when it happened for my husband and I. Also, I put a question mark next to 8, because if it’s not the right time we’ll know it and wait.

Using the microwave at age 5? Do you want them to spill scalding liquid on themselves and have burn scars for the rest of their lives?”

Ugh. I don’t think introducing your kid to firearms at age 14 is at all a good idea. Can you imagine how you’d feel if they accidentally shot someone?”

I got a couple of these comments, picking on particular skill set and how dangerous they might be (do you want to kill, maim, or brutally scar your children for life?). Come on, ladies. I’ve put a whole lot of work into these kids. I’m not going to let it go all down the drain by letting them risk their lives over something silly. It is in my best interest to keep them safe and living long enough to give me grandchildren. Are we good on that?

So I won’t let them carry boiling hot chocolate in and out of the microwave unless I think they’re qualified first. I also won’t let them take firearm courses unless I’m positive they won’t be swinging the thing around and not taking the instructor’s directions seriously. There’s wisdom involved with every parenting decisions. Trust me with a little bit of it, okay?

So in summary, I learned a good lesson from this last post. The Mommy world has some strong opinions about parenting and I’m not qualified enough to listen to at the moment. That’s fair. So from now on, I’ll bow out of the parenting arena and only give advice incrementally as I have experience. Or not, since that didn’t stop the weaning people.

Perhaps I’ll stick to $5 dinners, cabinet organization, and the occasional Mom Encouragement post. Hard to offend people with those.

97 thoughts on “An Apology/Clarification

  1. Laura D. says:

    Hi! I’m a new reader of yours, and as a mom of a 7-month-old, was very interested to read your list. Honestly I didn’t even read past age 4 (I’m not ready to think that far ahead yet, my daughter has yet to enjoy any solid food at my house, ha ha), but I loved your idea of writing a list of goals as something to work towards. I would absolutely consider creating a goals list for my daughter and future children, with my own values. I think anyone who read your list and commented negatively probably felt intimidated that they did not meet your goals with their own children. Obviously your intent was not to encourage readers to compare their kids to your goals, but it’s far too easy to take something personally when it relates to your kids, regardless of the intent of the initial issue. I do not think you need to apologize for what you wrote, however it’s also important to remember that you really do put yourself in a vulnerable position when you post anything on the internet. Thank you for being willing to share your goals – there are many of us who were glad to read them!

  2. MamaFlew17 says:

    I hope that you don’t let the negative comments keep you from posting ideas & sharing how you organize any part of your life that you’re called to share. I was very excited to see your list of age specific goals, as I really enjoy getting ideas from various sources on some subjects & I believe the old saying that “A persons reach should always exceed their grasp.” Thank you again for sharing your ideas.

  3. C says:

    Ditto to all of the above. Thanks for being brave to share YOUR list. It helped me alot, and started a good conversation with my husband about how we want to raise our daughter (age 1). By God’s grace, we will raise our kids into adults.

  4. Bethany says:

    Oh dear, people are brutal, aren’t we? So sorry for the backlash. I, personally, loved and shared your list. Obviously, our list isn’t identical, but it’s always fun to bounce the ideas around a bit. You gave me lots of interesting ones to add to mine!

  5. Ramona says:

    I’m a christian mom of grown kids with grandkids and still have an 8 year old at home. I love reading all your posts. Even though I’ve raised kids way longer than you have we can all learn at any point in life from someone else’s perspective. I hate to see you stop posting on certain topics simply because some were offended. It doesn’t take much to offend some people these days but we can’t live or change what we do or don’t do to please the crowd. You have a lot to offer new mom’s and us oldies. we simply need to show enough common sense and courtesy to know when we read anyone’s suggestions that we have a responsibility to act on or leave behind what may or may not work in our own home. God bless you and your family.

  6. thejobfamily says:

    Hi! I have been following your blog for awhile now and have never commented until now. Sorry that you felt bombarded yesterday. i loved your post yesterday because as a first time Mum i have no idea what is normal / what i could expect from my 3 year old. We also live cross culturally in a remote place so there aren’t many other kids the same age or nationality as him here. Posts like yours help plan skills to teach him and give me some focus for his training and development. Don’t stop! Thanks for the honesty and write more… 🙂

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Thanks for the encouragement! Every family is different, but I think it’s always helpful to aim high and settle later. 🙂 You’ll know what works for your kid and what doesn’t when the time comes.

  7. Sarah says:

    I found your training goals to be inspiring, interesting, and helpful in evaluating my own training goals. I don’t understand why anyone would think two families goals would or should be the same. I’ll never understand the desire to attack someone via internet. Thank you for not taking the post down.

  8. Jeanine says:

    Ok so I need to go back and read your last post now because this post like all your others was fantastic! You were spot on and I’m a mom of 5 with children ranging in age from 7 to 17! =) One of my husband’s master’s professors was a phenomenal LMFT and she wasn’t even married yet; it was amazing to us how she could consult on marriage issues!
    Keep on posting; you have a way with words and a great head on your shoulders!

  9. I just wanted to say that I really liked seeing the goals you posted for each specific age. I plan on using it as inspiration for goals for my own kids! So thank you for sharing, and try not to be discouraged by the negative comments, there are many people who were inspired by it 🙂

  10. Heidi says:

    Hi Kelsey,
    I read your post and I never for one second felt like you were trying to push your goals on to someone else. I knew they were your goals for your children and I thought that was such a lovely idea. To everyone else who felt like they had to leave their negative opinion- these are Kelsey’s goals for her children and like she said when the time comes if she doesn’t feel like her children are ready she will adjust the goals. People really need to not interfere with other peoples parenting styles. We are all mums and should be encouraging others in their decisions they make for their child, not judging! Especially when it’s a mother who is doing a good job with her children.

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Cheers, Heidi! Let’s do this mothering thing with a spirit of all-around encouragement! Picking on each other doesn’t help anyone. Thanks for reading.

  11. Catherine says:

    Don’t feel discouraged! I also really enjoyed your list of goals. I guess in this world there will always be “mom judgment” but ultimately you need to do what is best for your family and your child. I really enjoy reading your parenting advice (wise far beyond your years) And it sounds like you are a completely wonderful wife and mother!

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Thank you, Catherine. I do admit my goals are usually higher than my achievements, but you’ve gotta aim somewhere! Thanks for reading!

  12. Angie says:

    Disclaimer: I didn’t read yesterday’s comments, or today’s. I have a 9 month old, so while some of the things on your list were a little anxiety-inducing, overall I really enjoyed it. I felt that your notes at the beginning of the post were a great reminder/disclaimer that you didn’t mean for these to be “The Rules Every Mom Must Follow!” and that you recognized that the future years were goals for an unknown parenting zone you hadn’t experienced yet. I think it’s sad that people jumped your case for this post, especially given the humble attitude you presented it with. Please continue to offer parenting advice along with your home and organization and encouraging posts, because you have been somewhere where I have yet to venture, and I feel that your advice is valuable. Thanks for writing, and keep your head up!

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Aww, thanks Angie! Don’t be intimidated. Everything happens one baby step at a time. God knows, I still have a lot to learn! Glad we’re in this parenting thing together!

  13. melissa schlag says:

    I read you post yesterday before anyone had commented and found it to be very challenging, in a good way! People can be so silly sometimes. Don’t bow out of the parenting advice arena. Be encouraged by all the good things people care telling you!

  14. Libby says:

    Kelsey! You are the best! I think it’s great that you have lofty goals for your kids. I don’t have kids yet, and I didn’t agree with all the things on your list, but what a great starting point! Between this and a similar list on the tolovehonorandvacuum blog, I’ll have a starting point someday. Otherwise, I would have been clueless where to begin. Thank you for being brave and working hard and trying with all your heart to serve the Lord. Don’t be afraid of the controversy! I love this blog!

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      I’m going to have to check out that tolovehonorandvacuum list now! I didn’t know Sheila had one! Thanks for the encouragement, Libby!

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I LOVED YOUR LIST – no goals? then what are we working towards? 🙂

  16. Kirston says:

    I really enjoy your posts and found this parenting one very encouraging. Its nice to have some goals to work towards and you made it clear that they were just that. Some may not agree but they don’t have to use them so please don’t let that stop you!

  17. Jennifer says:

    I’m a new reader here and loved your clarification post. No need to apologize for *your* goals. It continues to amaze me how people get so easily offended these days by other people’s opinions. Just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean you think everyone should change their way of thinking. Thank you for sticking to your guns — no pun intended!

  18. Ellie says:

    Personally, I loved your post! I don’t have kids yet, but I am a young adult who recently left home and I am currently working on keeping my home organized, and your blog is the best I have found! And in a few years, when I get married and start my family, I’m sure I will look back on this blog and find parenting skills and tips for family organization. I agreed with all but two things on your list, and that’s wonderful! We can’t expect everyone to be the same, right? Just thought I’d drop a comment, since I haven’t before!

  19. Natalie says:

    I am reading this post (& it’s related posts) out of a “random” series of clicks that started with one of your previous posts on budgeting (Pinterest-Ed). But I was, just today, pondering the need for setting goals for my two year old. (Some goals for myself would probably be nice too 😉 I don’t have enough experience or book knowledge to make any comment about the content of your age-by-age goals, but I do agree that kids are capable go doing SO much more and behaving SO much better. So, thank you for your post and thank you for your follow-ups. I never imagined how complex parenting can be.

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, Natalie! I tend to err on the end of TOO many goals rather than not enough. Better to aim for and not quite make them all, than to not aim for anything at all. Thanks for reading!

  20. Samantha says:

    I just found your blog and I’m loving it. Your list works for your family and that is wonderful! I personally love to cheer on people when they’ve found what works for them. Isn’t that what we should be doing? Building each other up instead of tearing down. That’s what I aim for!

    Also I have to be picky about the comment on weaning, the minute you introduce solids you’ve begun the weaning process. Doesn’t mean babe will quit nursing that day! Just means the transition to eating only solids has begun.

    And bravo on teaching about sex at a younger age. Knowledge is a powerful asset, and protects our children.

    Does your list line up with my parenting goals? Yes and no, and that is fantastic. We have the freedom to do that! Its obvious you are giving your best effort in raising your littles and I thank you that!

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