Out of all the things that I could achieve in life, all I really want is for my children to be happy and healthy. I want to make sure I am making the best choices possible for their growth and development, and not just in the here and now, but in the long run, for the rest of their lives. I want them to grow up to know that their mother might not have always made the best choices, but instead of burying her head in the sand and ignoring her mistakes, she learned from it. Can I take back anything that I did differently with my older child? My second child? My youngest child? No. Can I hope to enlighten them, and others by sharing what I have done over the years and also, what I've learned, through experience as well as research and maturity? Yes.
When I share advice with someone, whether it be anecdotal or factual, I don't share it because I enjoy the sound of my own voice. I don't share it because I think my way is the ONLY way. I don't share it because I think they are bad, or stupid, or failing. No, not at all. If I thought that they were a lost cause, why would I bother? Instead, I share what I've come to know because I DO care. Because, if I can help YOU avoid feeling the regret I've felt at times, then it is worth it. If I can help YOU to make a better choice for you little one, that may greatly benefit their health, THAT'S worth it.
Often times women will say that it's not my child to care about, but, when you hear a tragic story on the news, about a child abandoned, or beaten, or murdered...do you not feel bad? But, it's not your child to care about, is it? See, that's just silly. Of course you care! You, as a mother, cannot help but care about other children, because you see your own children IN them. Now, don't go on thinking that I'm comparing beating a child to different forms of parenting, what I am comparing is the compassion that one feels over different children.
How many of us have thought we were right about something before? Seriously, we've ALL thought we were right about SOMETHING!
How many of you have been WRONG at some point about what you thought you were oh so right about? ALL of us. We have ALL been there, be it an answer on a quiz in school, the judgement of a friend we thought we could trust who then betrayed us, picking the wrong man we thought was the love of our lives, and even making decisions with our children that we believed to be best. Later on, we may discover that what we thought we were SO SURE about, was in fact, poor judgement or even misinformation. This does not make us bad. This does not make us stupid. This does not mean we cannot LEARN and CHANGE.
So, you study harder or take your time on the next test. You are more careful who you become close to. You are more selective and cautious when dating. You research and learn more for your next child and perhaps even *gasp* make some changes.
We could all benefit from opening our ears and our minds, but we're not the only ones involved...our children are. Sometimes, you must swallow that pride, admit that perhaps you were wrong, and do what it takes to create a better choice for your family, for your children...for their future and yours.