Chances are, at some point, my name is going to come up in a therapy session initiated by one, or both, of my kids. Maybe that sounds grim, but that’s how I see it. Let me back up.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been in therapy. My guesss is that the majority of you are flashing me your armpit right now. Therapy is the new normal, right? Odds are that, eventually, all of us are going to make a decision that isn’t right. That doesn’t mean our kids are going to be trudging along to therapy 20 years down the road moaning, “Whyyyyyy, why, WHY!? WHY didn’t she let me take my blankie to preschool?!?!” It just means that we’re human. Like our kids. And like our kids, we’re going to try things that don’t work out perfectly. And then, like us, they may find themselves sitting in front of a sounding board who says, “How is your relationship with your mother?” and Blankie Gate is brought to the forefront for them to process.
But it’s too easy to get hung up in “If I do X, Y will happen” or “If I do A in 10 years she might not understand and think B”. All we can do is make decisions in the here and now that we feel are best for our kids, ourselves, and our families as a whole.
My relationship theory has always been this: when one person is unhappy in the relationship, you try something different. This doesn’t mean you bail. This means you make a calculated adjustment, and then maybe some more adjustments, until everyone in the relationship is again happy. There’s a saying that goes, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” and that’s very true. But it’s equally true for everyone else in the relationship. So where does that leave us?
Decisions. If your child sleeps in a crib and you’re all happy – win. If your child sleeps in a bed with you and you’re all happy – win. If you never breastfed your child and you’re all happy – win. If you’re still nursing your 3 year old and you’re all happy – win. If you stay at home with your child and you’re all happy – win. If you work outside of the home and you’re all happy – win. If your child has a mommy and daddy, or two mommies, or two daddies, or just one mommy or just one daddy or if your child is raised by wolves (Ok, maybe not that one), if you’re all happy – win. You get the point.
Looking back, I assure you that you’ll never regret the decisions made out of love and in the best interest of your child & your family as a whole. Whatever those decisions may be. I have made decisions for my family that are not wildly popular or mainstream. But we’re happy. And they were the right choices for US. I have made other decisions that didn’t quite work out the way as planned but, you know what? We’re still happy. It’s OK. I’m going to fuck it up sometimes. YOU’RE going to fuck it up sometimes. Remember when I blogged a while back about letting go of the idea of being a perfect mom? This is part of it. I am not perfect. My kids are not perfect. My husband is not perfect. But we’re all doing this family thing the best way we know how. We’re all full of love. We’re learning together. And that’s really all you can ask.