Thursday, April 11, 2013

Parenting Failures: Green or Otherwise

Day 11 of the April Blog Challenge from Green Moms Network:

Today's topic is "a green parenting failure."  This topic kind of turned me off because I do not like the term "parenting failure."  I suppose it really is not the Green Moms Network's fault since it was placed in the context of a "green failure," rather than just an overall failure, but still those two words in rapid succession irritate me.

Right now, I can proudly say that I have never had a parental failure of any kind because my son has not come into the world yet.  I suppose if I really wanted to try to pin myself down on something, I could point to the time when I was approximately 8-10 days pregnant and, blissfully unaware of this fact and unable to communicate well in Turkish, I accidentally ordered an entire bottle of wine in Cappadocia, which I then consumed in its entirety so as not to be wasteful.  That really wasn't a parental failure so much as it was a linguistic one.

But the idea of being a failure as a parent, even temporarily, really irks me.  I certainly know I am not going to be a perfect parent.  No one is or can be.  I will do my best like everyone else, but the most important thing will be that all of my decisions - including my screw ups - will be motivated by love for my children.  If I am too strict on something, it will be because I don't want them to get hurt.  If I am too lax, it will be because I did not want to tell them no when they were so excited.  But to label these things as failures is harsh.

As for the specific topic of green parenting failures, I am fortunate enough to not be too terribly green, which means the likelihood of me failing at green parenting is very slight...unless, of course, you just look at my green parenting overall.  Then I suppose the whole thing would be a failure.

I do often worry about the kind of mommy I will be and whether I will do things right.  It is such an awesome and terrifying responsibility to be a parent, and sometimes when I read books about child psychology and development, I become convinced that there is absolutely no hope of me raising my children without somehow also scarring them for life.

According to different theories, I can damage my children psychologically if I either (a) hold them too much or (b) do not hold them enough.  I will be paving the way for years of psychoanalysis if I either (a) do not praise them enough or (b) praise them too much.  I suppose I should try to find the middle ground between all of these theories and apply that, but I fear if I do, there will be another theory out in the next 10-15 years based on my child.

I always end up telling myself to relax and remember that the most important thing I can do for my children is to teach them to know Jesus.  His love is perfect, and His responses are perfect every single time, and the beautiful thing is that if I do end up inadvertently damaging my children, Jesus' love is capable of repairing anything my fleshly form can do.

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