WHO’S MAKING YOUR PARENTING DECISIONS?
You or the Mommy Police?
The Mommy Police? They’re just a fiction-an adult version of the Bogey Man, aren’t they?
Well, maybe they don’t actually inhabit the bodies of the living dead like your mother-in-law, your ex-pediatrician and that busybody next door. But there is one place this Gestapo may be alive and well and controlling your life. And that’s inside your own head—enforcing the Shoulds, Shouldn’ts and Shame of Parenting Absolutes.
YES, BIG MOTHER IS WATCHING.
The pressure is intense. Good parenting can seem like a mixture of magic and luck. Lives are at stake and one screw-up can seem fatal. Fear of failure can drive parents to dogma.
Isn’t it safer to surrender to the authorities and follow what They Say Is Best? The Superhighway of Convention is easier than taking that pot-holed frontage road of personal truth. Dogma is a narcotic. It runs your life while you sleep. Parent’s are off the hook. No more personal responsibility. But isn’t personal responsibility exactly what most parents want to teach their children?
SO HOW DO YOU FOIL THE PARENTING PIRATES?
Thieves work best in the dark: Expose them.
WATCH FOR THE 5 DANGER SIGNS THAT DOGMA’S IN THE DRIVER SEAT
1. Big Mother may declare Martial Law in the Lizard Brain but the body will rebel. Listen to your gut. Let that gnawing fury, weepy resistance or cringing resentment inform you. If that one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t quite fit you-your gut will let you know. Look for solutions that feel personally-correct.
2. When someone else’s parenting style causes you anxiety, check to see if it’s really yourself you’re judging. Are you trying to wear a Maternal Perfection Suit? Your authenticity is the gift no one else can give your children.
3. Is there room in your family system for you to be who you are? Or have you had to do too much psychological liposuction-carving away all your selfhood to fit into that skinny formula for Perfect Motherhood? Put the Me Back in Mommee!
4. Is there a battle of good and evil constantly raging in your head over every parenting decision? It’s a Clash of The Subliminal Titans when dogmas duke it out. Absolutes and objective truth are fine for a hollow deity like Big Mother. But families are organic, growing systems. Trust your own subjective humanity.
5. Are your children disappointing you? It’s time to check and see if those high expectations grew out of your family’s authentic needs-or did the Mommy Police plant them? Everyone’s happier when family life is custom-made.
When we hide behind dogma to protect our children, we deny them access to our humanity and put their own at risk. Yes, Big Mother is watching. But it’s time we took a good long look at HER!
Joan Bechtel @2005 All Rights Reserved
Resource Box: Joan Bechtel, early childhood educator and author of MOTHERHOOD CONFIDENTIAL, is a Personalized Parenting speaker, helping women out of the dogma-doo to find their own personally-correct answers. For free tips: When Motherhood Tears Friendship Apart-7 way to Keep It Together, 10 Antidotes to Toxic Taboos, Guide to Creating Your Own Internal U. N. go to http://www.MotherhoodConfidential.com