Eleven years out of high-school (GAHHHH I can’t believe I just typed that) and still I find myself feeling like I am right back there again. When I graduated, I wasn’t just looking forward to NO MORE HOMEWORK, I was really excited to finally get out and away from the absurd amount of drama that bounces around the hormone filled hallways of high school.
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, how much negativity you cut out of your life, or how positive your general demeanor is, drama will ALWAYS find you in a multitude of different forms, and usually when you least expect it. I don’t know why that is; maybe the universe never wants us to get too comfortable? To keep things interesting? To keep us on our toes?
What’s worse is that I found out after I had kids that this whole drama nonsense only gets WORSE. Sure, having kids brought out my wonderful immaturity (it HAD to to be able to tolerate some of the obnoxious shit they play with), but it didn’t make me love tantrums, sass, and attitude. In fact, I have even LESS patience for it than I did in high school. Funny how that works out, huh?
The silly teenage drama has a far different impact (at least in the minds of those experiencing it) than parent-drama. In school, maybe a stupid rumor or someone disagreeing with you or calling you names would affect who you talked to (or avoided) in the halls, where you sat at lunch. Or… it shouldn’t, anyway.
We’re grown ass adults, raising our own children. We are not children! Must we still act like them. So Rita is wearing the same shirt as you today, does that really mean you need to try to spill a drink on her? So Rita decided to let her kids stay up late eating candy and spending some QT together, does that REALLY mean you need to go out of your way to criticize her choice and telling her that her kids teeth are going to rot out of their heads?
Do you see the similarity, here? Who the hell cares? We sure shouldn’t.
We are all humans, and we all make mistakes. No one is perfect; not even the people who believe that the way they raise their kids is the one and only way to do so. To be totally honest, not even I am immune; I have had my own fair share of judgy moments. I think it’s ingrained in our nature to compare ourselves with others, whether due to an insecurity we may have (one we may not even know about) in our own parenting skills, or because we simply disagree and would “NEVER” do that. The difference is when we either let the differences we find bother us enough to choose to ruin someone else’s day with it, or realize it’s not really worth the drama it would cause and let it go.
Do we sit around criticizing the positions other people sleep in because our way must be the best since we get such restful slumber? No, because we know that what is comfortable for us may not be for someone else. Why don’t we look at other parents the same way? Doesn’t that make a lot more sense?
It took me a long time to realize that you could disagree with someone, and still both be right… whatever “right” is. The point is, there is no real “right” in parenting. It’s not a matter of HAVING to have people agree with you, or HAVING to prove your point is right over someone else’s. It’s having the respect for other people to let them be different than you and to be secure in your own decisions; hopefully that amount of respect will be shown to you in return. If it’s not? Who cares? Not everyone is going to get you. Not everyone is going to get me. We don’t have to get each other to show enough respect to not argue, bicker, put down, or belittle one another. You don’t have to prove or justify yourself to anyone but you.
The hardest thing to not only understand, but to accept, was that if someone doesn’t get me, it’s not my problem. Why should it be? I did nothing wrong, I’m just living my life in a way that makes me happy, and my kids happy.
If someone thinks you need to defend yourself because their opinion doesn’t match yours and therefore you are wrong, they aren’t worth it. The people in life that are worth it are the ones that will stand by yourself and accept you for who you are, differences and all.
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