One would like to hope that the peer pressure to act a certain way ends when you become an adult. But I am finding that it keeps on keeping on. I am not talking about the desire to “keep up with the Jonses”. The desire to have what other people have will rear its ugly head until the day we die, but I think there is something even more dangerous. It is the desire to be a well liked parent.
I have always fought against the notion that parents should ever be their children’s friends. But when you actually become a parent, it is really difficult to have your children dislike you. And you know what I am finding even more difficult? Having other children’s parents dislike you because you make different parenting decisions then they do.
I am an admittedly strict parent. And so some of the decisions my husband and I make are met ,at best, odd stares. At worst, some rude comments. The thing is, whenever you make a decision about your parenting when other people are doing things differently it feels like judgment. Even when it isn’t. For instance if you homeschool, you must think all other parents who send there kids to, gasp, public school are just feeding their kids to the wolves. Sometimes decisions that work for one family are simply that. Decisions that work for one family.
Here is the deal. We make decisions because we have thought them out and decided this is the way we want to run OUR family. Hopefully the decisions you make for your family are similarly well thought out. I am certainly willing to entertain the thought that the way I do things isn’t for everyone. But it is the right way for us. Even if it is weird/ different/ unpopular. Even if it makes my kids weird/ different/ unpopular.
At the end of the day I don’t want to be voted world’s most popular mom by my kids. And I certainly don’t expect to win the award with other parents. I just want to do my best for my family to raise respectful, loving, competent adults that someday, despite my unpopular decisions know that I only wanted what was best for them. If that happens, all the rest won’t matter anyway.
How about you? Do you find yourself making unpopular decisions?
The winner of the contest is Megan with the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Anderson is a mother, wife, and blogger. She is a member of the BornFree Mom Panel.