Imperfect Parenting Part 2

I want to thank the many parents who have reached out to personally thank me for my previous blog post on “Imperfect parenting”.  Many parents said it was refreshing to read someone else verbalize what they feel. I have been stopped at school, received private messages and gotten emails from people saying they also do not like when a mother belittles another mother for not trying to have a VBAC or how long she nurses or whether or not her children are taking state tests. I also want to thank those who reached out in disagreement of me. It is always refreshing when readers of either side of a debate reach out to express their agreement or disagreement with positive comments and healthy debates.

I have four children, and I am the first to admit that I AM AN IMPERFECT PARENT.  I have made mistakes, I probably do so every day!  Nothing about this parenting gig is easy, but it is my main responsibility in life, and every day I have to wake up and try again, regardless of how I handled something yesterday.  I respect every other parent greatly, because I know firsthand how hard parenting is!  And that was the gist of my post.

Unfortunately, it seems that many of my readers misread what I wrote. This post was not about whether someone is for or against testing, it was about those parents who negatively push their beliefs in the faces of others, even belittling them. I focused on the testing debate because that is what is the main topic of parenting at this point, but in the 13 years I have been a mom, I have seen it everywhere from whether or not you have a natural birth or an epidural to if you buy only organic or not.  There are parents who take their own beliefs to the extreme and berate those parents who do not do what they do, and it is total crap, in my opinion.  We are supposed to help each other, not tear each other down, regardless of if you share my views or not!

I specifically said that although I did not opt my child out of the NYS testing this year, I respect the decisions of those who did, and I also said that possibly next year I may feel differently. I am not married to my decision, and I know that each of my children have different needs. Because I know my four children are different and have different needs, I fully and completely understand that each parent has to make their own decisions with regards to their own children.  I am NOT 100% happy with the education system and although all of my children are learning and thriving more than we did years ago, I am not a big fan of what they government has changed over the last few years.  Personally, I would rather hop on a bus with thousands of other parents and picket as adults in Albany or Washington as well as use my voting power to get these things changed instead of involving the children in the fight.  Ultimately, that is the main reason my husband and I came to the decision we did.

The focus on my blog post was not to bash those who don’t share our decision, it was to express my utter disgust at the parents who belittle other parents who do not share their decisions.

Feel free to go back and re-read my post.  I never said that parents who do not opt out are stupid or ignorant. I said that parents who call other parents stupid and ignorant are not those I wish to take advice from. I questioned how one mother could call another mother these things. I stand by that statement, because there have been many women in public forums who may very well have all good intentions with how she is trying to support an argument, but in doing so, when another mother disagrees with her, she resorts to such words as “stupid”, “ignorant” or “lazy”. I have had plenty of AMAZING discussions and healthy debates with MANY parents both from Massapequa, NYC, Westchester, Rockland and other areas about state testing. Many parents who are against it and have explained it (without putting me or any other mother down) have been great at letting me see some things I never realized before, and I appreciate that immensely. My husband and I stand by our decision for the 2015 season, but we will have to make another decision in 2016, and at this point, I cannot with 100% certainty say what that decision will be.

AGAIN, it is the one or two parents that have to ruin it for me when they belittle another parent because he or she is not in agreement with their decisions. And THOSE are the parents I will not take advice from, nor do I ever want to be around (and I hope my children do not befriend their children either).

I have and always will base my decisions for my children by my own research, by discussions with my husband, and by discussions with my closest friends and family that I know and trust. I will not vote for a politician based on the sign you have on your lawn, just like I will not make my decision on whether or not my child takes a test based on the sign you have on your lawn. I do not base my decisions on what is right by what I read in Facebook groups, nor will I make family decisions from what I read in someone’s blog, such as this one. I will never base my decisions from anything I hear or see from politicians or the media, because we all know how skewed that can be. Again, I base my decisions by my own research, by discussions with my husband, and by discussions with my closest family and friends who I personally know and trust.

I had 3 C-Sections, no VBACs, I nursed all 4 of my kids, but only for 3 months each, I buy organic when I can afford it, I had my kids in private/Catholic schools when I lived in the city and now have them in public school, I discipline each child and each situation differently, I am against corporal punishment but will spank if necessary, I raise my voice (quite often), have a messy house, I eat red meat at least once a week, my bed is not always made, I can’t find my shoes because my closet is a mess, I cook healthy every day but I snack on crap I should not have, which is why I can’t lose weight, I chose to have my daughter take the state tests this year, I am divorced and remarried and my kids wrestle each other daily!  For those of you who have made other decisions or disagree with any of those things but can still respect me, thank you, and you have my utmost respect!  For those of you who disagree with any of those things and think you are better than me, you are welcome to your opinion, but it does not affect mine!

I do not know what my education decisions in 2016 will be for my children, but I can assure you, one thing will NEVER change:  I will never be okay with another parent, especially a mother, berating, belittling, or bashing another parent for her decisions.

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