What I take issue with is the people that comment on my parenting because they think I'm doing it wrong. That, somehow, they know better how to deal with my children. With some of the "advice" we've endured over the past seven years, if I didn't know better I would think it's a miracle our children have survived each day. From our vegetarian lifestyle, how we travel by bicycle, babysitting, and even the way in which we walk with each other when out in the city, other adults have felt that we could be doing it better, and have been vocal about it.
Let's face it, we, as a society, do hold some very strong opinions about how others should behave. It's what makes us human, our ability to look at certain situations and actions and decide how we would best deal with them, and it is what forms our personalities and guides our actions. But another human trait that I feel is being lost, is having the social grace and understanding to know when perhaps you should keep your opinions to yourself. As someone who lives car-free, sure I have strong personal convictions about the level of car dependence in our society, but I am not about to chastise people, family, friends or otherwise, simply because they have chosen to live differently from me.
And that's what it's about; having the freedom to choose. Over the course of my daughter and son's lives, my husband and I have made choices about how we raise our children, the activities we do together, the food we eat and so on. When we need help or advice, we are very willing to ask for it, because sometimes we don't always know the best course of action. We are also there for those who ask our opinions as well, offering advice or counsel without casting judgement.
|My babies and I, Mother's Day 2013|
Since 2006, I have been lucky enough to raise not one but two pretty amazing children with the help of an amazing partner, and a large support group spread all over the globe. We have had challenges, and at those times we have always been grateful to have help from our friends and family. But through the successes and challenges, I have watched my son and daughter become adventurous, mindful and happy children, and while I know my husband and I can't take all the credit for that, I also am aware that they are my kids. The responsibility for them lies on the shoulders on my husband and I, and as far as I can tell, we are definitely doing something right!