A funny story
I have four kids that are all basically grown up now (the youngest will be 18 in a couple of days!). My oldest daughter has six kids, so she is an old pro at parenting as well. One day not too long ago, my oldest and youngest daughters, hubby and I were talking about how you are less and less picky about stuff with each child. The story went like this:
When you have your first baby, you are so anal and uptight about everything. When little sweetums drops their pacifier on the floor, the first time mom will sterilize it in boiling water. Can’t have sweetums getting any nasty yucky germs!
When you have your second child, you have learned to relax a little and know that sterilization is not only unnecessary, but it is a pain in the butt. So when your second baby drops their paci, you just run it under water and give it back to them. What are a few germs going to hurt?
With the third child, you are really getting comfortable. When the third one drops the paci, you pop it in your mouth to clean off any germs. I mean, you are always in their face and kissing on them anyway, right?
By the time number four comes along, you are so relaxed at child rearing (or maybe it’s actually exhaustion) that when the fourth child drops the stupid paci, you pick it up, look at it a second, pull off a piece of fuzz and pop back in their mouth. Germs are good for their immune system anyway.
My family and I were all laughing about this scenario when my youngest daughter, who was 17 at the time, exclaimed with horror, “Oh my God! I was the fourth child!” (It was SO funny especially because she is kinda the dumb blonde type!)
It’s okay if you are not perfect!
The thing is, we need to learn to relax overall in our parenting style. Our kids are not going to break. They are not going to catch some horrendous virus if we don’t sanitize everything they touch. They will be healthy and whole if we feed them a somewhat healthy diet, and that doesn’t mean you have to only serve organic or whole foods or make all your own baby food.
Yes, you have to choose what you feel is best, but remember that most of us weren’t raised that way. Our parents let us play in the dirt, run the neighborhood and eat sugary cereal while we watched Saturday morning cartoons.
And you need to think of this in context of other areas of your life. Why are you so uptight? What good does it do to yell at the traffic stopped in front of you? Is it going to make it go any faster? And the cashier whose line you get in is new, and she is going slow. Instead of getting ticked off, smile at her instead. Most things are not a matter of life or death, so just relax.
Being so uptight is not good for you or anyone around you You will be a much happier and healthier parent if you can learn to let things go, especially in your head.
So take a deep breath, in… and out… and chillax!
For moms and dads who are working at home or from home, I have a series over on my blog addressing the issues of balancing work and parenting. Love to have you visit! The Struggle with the Juggle
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