Freedom vs. Parenting

Someone once asked me if I’d trade mom life for freedom again. Now, in my mind I can’t help but question this “freedom”. I know I’m 26! and believe me, I know I have 4 kids. This is the life I chose – not the life that chose me. In the eyes of others I can only imagine how I look. “Ha! Look at that stay at home mom who swears she can make a living doing odd jobs and blogging….” “What does her fiancé do so they can afford to live in NYC?” “They must get government assistance…” “That mom has 4 kids with the same dad and they’re not married yet!?” I’ve heard it all; and truthfully, I don’t give not one single crap. I should have said “fuck” but, I’m a mom. I don’t curse! (sometimes 😉)

I really enjoy mom life – and to be completely open and honest, it’s not my kids who make this parenting thing difficult. It’s the people around me.. The feeling that I’m constantly doing something wrong, when I know I’m not, but I’m going based off of how other moms do it, or how my mom did it – how my mother in law says I should do it – how that one mom at the park who “has her shit together” does it. It’s a never ending competition and believe it or not, when you live how YOU want to live and not give a damn how people look at how YOU chose to raise YOUR kid(s) – you become at peace.

I learned growing up, bullying exists, I was a victim to it. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it’s not a joke and kids in school today who can’t read or write at a certain age are called out and frowned upon. Why? Why can’t a child learn to read at their own pace? Why must a child have to wear the newest shoes that just came out if he or she likes Payless shoes? I think that a lot of this “freedom” comes from within. A lot of us as parents compete. “My child can do….this….” “Really??! Well, my child can do…..that!!” Instead of rewarding your child for the things that they can do, I see a lot of parents spending time pointing out to their children the flaws and things they can’t do. “Ugh! You’re failing math again…” when they scored record breaking in writing. “My child has a speech delay…” AND? Your child will learn, maybe not as fast as another child but why compare when each and every child is different?

Look at me! I sound like I’m running for President for children., but seriously, I don’t think “freedom” has anything to do with being a parent. We chose this life man, and we chose how to raise our littles. If we spend more time with our kids, raising them with a fun, educational environment and stop letting people grade them for every single thing they do – like in high school a student can fail gym class and NOT graduate. I thought that was a joke, it’s not. We have to stop judging our own children and let them learn what they need to learn, in their own time. Society has put so much pressure on us that we fail to be ourselves. We look at others to define ourself. And while there may not be much “Freedom” as a Parent – not being a parent doesn’t always mean you’re free.

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