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.