This was the topic of a scope I did this week on Periscope. It resonated with a lot of people so I wanted to make sure and provide a written way to digest the information in case Periscope isn’t your thing.
If you want to catch the replay you can find it here, otherwise, read on.
There are a lot of people out there that will tell you what you have to do or should be doing as a parent.
Today I’m here to tell you what you do NOT have to do as a parent.
1. You don’t have to Clean the Playroom
Our dog Yoshi loves to eat crayons. They are his version of the bacon wrapped around a filet. So having them lying all around the playroom is just asking for trouble.
But you know what else is asking for trouble? Me not taking time for myself. And you not taking time for yourself.
When the baby is napping and the other two children are at the museum with their grandparents, my first thought is “oh my gosh, I can clean!”
But instead, I pet Yoshi, drank tea that was actually not, and Periscoped.
As a parent it takes a lot of courage to rest.
It takes a lot of courage to say “look, everyone is gone and I could clean up the house, but I’m not going to. I’m not going to care what others think. I’m not going to care what my in-laws think when they come upstairs after brining the boys home. I’m just going to take some time for me.”
So you don’t have to clean the playroom (or insert whatever here – whatever it is that you feel like you HAVE to do.)
2. You don’t have to Do What Your Parents Did
This one can be difficult if you live close to your family. We live 20 minutes from both sets of parents.
It’s hard for us to do things differently than our parents did.
There are some things that we do very differently that we just don’t even really talk to our parents about.
We don’t talk to them about schooling the boys. Chris and I were both public schooled but we have done Montessori with the boys and might homeschool next year.
When we first had Mr. B and Mr. C we tried being vegan, vegetarian, went super organic, very low-sugar, none of which did our parents ever try.
We didn’t take the boys to a movie theatre for a long time and our parents thought that we were crazy.
We put dried fruit in the Easter eggs for 3 years because we aren’t big on candy.
This is all to say we have experienced and endured a lot of judgement from our parents.
It’s hard because when you’re doing things differently than your parents it’s natural for them to think it’s a judgement towards them and how they raised you. If you’re doing things differently they might think “hey, it was good enough for you why isn’t it good enough for your kids?”
It’s hard to give yourself permission to do things differently than your parents did. But you can do it.
3. You don’t have to Subscribe to “Shoulds”
There are so many expectations and “shoulds” that we feel like are fixed. Things that we feel like we have to do.
Unless you really stop and look at those things, and question whether they are really right for you, you’ll just end up should-ing all over yourself.
It’s easy when you look at other blogs and talk to other parents to come away with the feeling that you “should” be doing a whole host of things. Have a well put together house, more than hot dogs available for dinner, spend more one on one time with your kids.
You don’t have to subscribe to these shoulds. Look at them and figure out what is best for your family.
Co-sleeping is bad is just as true as co-sleeping is good. It depends on the kid.
It’s just as true that you should be content in suburbia as you shouldn’t be content in suburbia.
It’s ok to feel like the status quo isn’t what you want.
Evaluate the shoulds as they come in and then discuss what you really do want to subscribe to and what you don’t.
Release some of the pressure and expectations – find your own way in this parenting journey.
So now it’s your turn. Are there any things you would add that you don’t have to do as parent? Let us know in the comments below.