I used to care what others thought of me a LOT. When I was younger I used to care whether they thought I was weird or even ugly for being different. As I grew older and became a mum, I stopped caring about what others thought of me and the way that I looked and worried more about what they thought about me as a mum and the way that I parent. Over the years, I thought I stopped caring about what others thought altogether but as yesterday proved, what others think does still bother me occasionally. Sometimes I still catch myself hesitating before I post that photo or carefully considering whether I should share talking about a particular subject in case someone says or thinks something negative about it. The more I think about it I’m not quite sure whether I actually care what they think or whether I just can’t be arsed reading people’s opinions of me. Either way, I shouldn’t let the idea of someone having something to say about what I post stop me from sharing the things that I wanna share.
Yesterday Kory learned how to ride his bike without the stabilisers on! Kory had been asking us for a while to take him out on his bike but either the weather hadn’t been great, we otherwise had plans or one of the kids had a cold but yesterday we finally got round to taking him and within five minutes he went from laying on the floor saying to himself ‘I’ll never be able to ride my bike!’ To riding it completely on his own, turning corners and using the breaks! This is such a huge milestone and a massive achievement for him that I wanted to share this with all of our family and friends on social media. I was just going to share the video of him riding his bike and not the picture you can see of him above having a meltdown just minutes before getting back on his bike and taking off on his own. R asked me why and I said because I couldn’t be bothered with anyone commenting anything negative (whether they would or I was just thinking they would) but it was R’s little pep talk that convinced me otherwise and why I’m writing this blog post to say the same to you so I guess all the credit for this one goes to him.
We shouldn’t care what others think because every child does things differently and in their own time, yes even Karen’s kids. Kory did not just hop on his bike and know how to ride it perfectly, of course he didn’t. He had to get on, fall a few times, get angry and then try again. Kory was about to give up but it was us telling him to keep trying and that he’s getting better every time that encouraged him to keep on getting back on the bike and within 5/10 minutes, he was doing it all on his own. Now, that’s not to say that everyone’s child will be the same. I know kids Kory’s age that already know how to ride their bikes and others that don’t but if we’re going to share something then why not share it honestly. I think that’s one of the biggest problems with social media. We compare ourselves to these ‘perfect’ shots that we see that probably aren’t even real, it makes it so easy for us to doubt ourselves, to compare ourselves to others and worry if we aren’t doing the same and that we’re somehow failing or not good enough for doing things differently and that couldn’t be further from the truth. If we all were a bit more honest when it comes to parenting and shared more of the real than the perfect then there would be a lot less judgement.
There are kids that could ride their bikes before Kory could but there are also kids that still wore pull ups when Kory didn’t. Kory stopped having a dummy at 1 years old but his baby sister is going to be 2 years old in a matter of months and she still has hers. I’m not judging anyone at all, what I am saying is that parenting isn’t a race. No parent or child is better than any other and we’re all parenting our own children who are different from each other in each and every way. They each will achieve things at different times, some before others, they will each react differently to different things, they will each behave differently from one another and what works for one may not work for another and that’s okay. That is what makes your parenting journey with your child so special and unique because it is your own and like no other. So please do not compare yourselves to others or worry what they may or may not think, focus on yourself and your own children.
So from now on, I will be making a point of sharing all things that come with parenting, even the more ‘shameful’ stuff. Like throwing themselves on the floor and having a tantrum in the middle of a basketball court because they couldn’t just ride their bike because that stuff is what’s real and if it means another mum will see that and think ‘Actually I’m not the only who’s child gets upset when they can’t do something right away’ then that’s what I’d like to be able to do. As well as let anyone else’s less than positive comments go straight over my head because I am done with caring what others think and I am incredibly proud of my son, even when he does embarrass me in public. Yesterday he learned how to ride his bike and he won’t remember the tantrum and when we look back in years to come we probably won’t either but we will remember watching him ride around and around that same basketball court.
Me and R are both so proud of Kory. We decided to treat him to ice cream yesterday for learning to ride his bike and all in all, it was a really good day.
So remember, the next time you’re worrying about your child not doing something because such-and-such-a-persons is or you feel like you’re being judged, just know that whatever it is, your child will do it in their own time, you don’t know what that parent might have had to go through to get their child to achieve whatever it is that they have, it’s not always straight forward. Which in our case was our child throwing themselves on the floor BEFORE they learned how to ride their bike, they did not just have the ability to ride their bike without stabilisers, it was something Kory had to learn and it took tantrums and trying. Your child will achieve whatever it is in their own time, it is not for you to worry about. In fact, there may be something your child can do that theirs can’t and that’s okay as well. And lastly, if you ever feel like you’re being judged, hold your middle finger even higher (because yes Karen, sometimes parents do swear) and carry on parenting as you are because you’re doing a fantastic job and I don’t rate parents on whether their child is potty trained yet or whether their child can write their name on their own, I rate parents by their realness and the love they have for their kids.
Thank you for reading my blog post, I hope it made you feel a bit better. I know writing about this and getting it off my chest made me feel better and allowed me to realise what it is that I need to do from here.
And thank you to R for always supporting me. You are the best partner and daddy to our kids, me and the kids are so lucky to have you.