Today’s, “The Best I Have To Give” post is from this beautiful mom, Erin Shepley. I’m blessed to have Erin as my sister-in-law, and we’ve had some great adventures together! Erin is smart and abundantly kind. She is always ready for some fun, and never takes herself too seriously – such a wonderful and comforting gift to give the people around her.
I am so amazed by her natural ability to mother. Rarely have I seen someone so invested in their family as Erin. I’ve never seen her tire of Landon’s cries, never seen her complain about a mess, and she (and my brother) have consistently tried to nurture and nourish every tiny milestone. And yet, you’ll clearly see from Erin’s post that she’s not expecting you to parent just like her.
You can see Erin’s gorgeous photography work at her website, Erin Shepley Photography, or on Facebook. It’ll leave you wishing you lived in Calgary, Alberta. Thanks, Erin for sharing your grace with the readers here at Six More Summers. Love ya, Sista!
My experience with parenthood is limited – I’ve only been a parent for 13 months but in that short time I’ve certainly learned a lot of things, especially about myself. Here is the most important thing I could think of to tell fellow parents, based on my own experiences thus far (and I know my hubby would very much agree with me on this) …
After every single thing other people have shared and suggested to me, every book or parenting magazine I have read, every doctor’s appointment I have been to … you name it … although I value all of it so much, at the end of the day, things are up to me and my husband. We are the parents and we have to take everything we know and make each informed decision for our family ourselves.
Don’t sweat what everyone tells you, don’t worry about everything you read – just appreciate what you hear and see. Value it, think about it, be mindful of how it may or may not work for you and then do what is best for you and your family.
Every baby, every Mom, every Dad, every house, every everything is different for each family. Wants, ideas, concepts, perceptions, ways of living, upbringings, beliefs etc. all vary between people so not everything is going to work for every person or household. Show respect to others and what they believe, and don’t be judgmental of anyone, ever. And as a parent, you should especially never judge other parents. We’re on this crazy ride together, so let’s be supportive even though we’re not exactly the same!
I read this interesting piece on parenting and judgment a few months ago and it really resonated with me:
To the mom who’s breastfeeding: Way to go! It really is an amazing gift to give your baby, for any amount of time that you can manage! You’re a good mom.
To the mom who’s formula feeding: Isn’t science amazing? To think there was a time when a baby with a mother who couldn’t produce enough would suffer, but now? Better living through chemistry! You’re a good mom.
To the cloth diapering mom: Fluffy bums are the cutest, and so friendly on the bank account. You’re a good mom.
To the disposable diapering mom: Damn those things hold a lot, and it’s excellent to not worry about leakage and laundry! You’re a good mom.
To the mom who stays home: I can imagine it isn’t easy doing what you do, but to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing. You’re a good mom.
To the mom who works: It’s wonderful that you’re sticking to your career, you’re a positive role model for your children in so many ways, it’s fantastic. You’re a good mom.
To the mom who had to feed her kids from the drive thru all week because you’re too worn out to cook or go grocery shopping: You’re feeding your kids, and hey, I bet they aren’t complaining! Sometimes sanity can indeed be found in a red box with a big yellow M on it. You’re a good mom.
To the mom who gave her kids a home-cooked breakfast lunch and dinner for the past week: Excellent! Good nutrition is important, and they’re learning to enjoy healthy foods at an early age, a boon for the rest of their lives. You’re a good mom.
To the mom with the kids who are sitting quietly and using their manners in the fancy restaurant: Kudos, it takes a lot to maintain order with children in a place where they can’t run around. You’re a good mom.
To the mom with the toddler having a meltdown in the cereal aisle: they always seem to pick the most embarrassing places to lose their minds don’t they? We’ve all been through it. You’re a good mom.
To the moms who judge other moms for ANY of the above? Glass houses, friend. Glass houses.