Today’s post comes from guest blogger Lacy. This post originally appeared on her blog, Push Play Learning,which is full of great information, so I highly recommend following what she has to say. She believes that teaching children should be as easy as pushing play. I have to say that I agree. What is easy gets done. I hope you enjoy her post It’s Time to Stop Bashing Super Moms.
I was bouncing around some blogs and I stumbled on this post, and while it had good information on the “counting on” technique, I was disappointed at the “super mom” bash that went with it. The bash was just saying that the next time a “super mom” comes along and exclaims her 2 year old can count to 20, you can confidently ask the child to show you 3 things as if that would establish the child’s inadequacies to truly count.
In the post, it was implied that super moms are just always in a competition, and this is a sentiment that I find often in communities of mothers and even fathers. But I would like to point out that the competition is in the mind of the one perceiving a competition.
You see not too long ago I learned how much I needed super moms. I had one of those absent, less than adequate mothers, so for the longest time I had been stumbling through motherhood. I found an amazing forum of what I perceived as being filled with super moms and dads. Their babies were reading in more than one language. Their toddlers were completing one and two digit equations. Their preschoolers were reading chapter books with ease.
You can imagine the emotional roller coaster I found myself on. I was totally in awe of these children and what the parents had accomplished. Why hadn’t anyone told me this was possible? Then the downturn of emotions hit me and hit me hard. To acknowledge their success would be to accept my own failures, to accept that I failed my children. This was a crushing blow to my ego for I always felt I was an awesome mom despite everything, and my bruised ego held me back for the longest time from diving deep into the world of early learning. My heart had seen the truth though and it never let me go.
But I would be lying to you if all the success stories of these super moms didn’t start seeming like a competition. This competition made me feel inadequate and a born failure. I had started early learning with all three of my children all under 4 years of age and I wasn’t seeing a lot of amazing results, and everyday on the forum was a new success story from another super mom. Some days I just couldn’t pull off an early learning activity because my spirit was so downtrodden. It would have been easy to just roll my eyes and find these tales obnoxious.
Fast forwarded to over a year and a half later and even though I don’t feel like a super mom, I am sure that if I told anyone my children’s accomplishments I would get some eye rolling. But how did I finally overcome that roller coaster of awe and heart break and get to where I am today?
First, I accepted responsibility that I could open my children’s minds to learning great thing despite their age. Second, I accepted that our journey would be our own, and that super parents are just role models. My children and I have our own journey, and because we are unique like every individual it is going to be a different journey.
The third and most important thing I learned to do is celebrate. I celebrate my success, but most of all I celebrate the success of the super moms and dads. If they didn’t share their stories in the first place, I wouldn’t be here today. I choose everyday to not let it be a competition but to instead embrace the wonderful successes of others and to use it as motivation to keep moving forward.
When a mom shares that their 2 year old can count to 20 already, make a conscious choice not to make it a competition but instead celebrate it. If you decide that it would be wonderful for your little one to count to 20 (even if its just words), then take on that challenge cheerfully. We need super moms and dads to help us become the people we really want to be in life, and there are so many out there hesitant to share their success because of all the eye rolling.
Let’s not judge the super moms and dads even if their success or joy seems empty to you. Our judgment ultimately falls on the child, and to have a better future for our children, we need to uplift all children. Let’s not cut them down because we think we are in a competition with their super mom.
Because I did choose to accept responsibility, accept my journey for everything it is and celebrate myself and others, I have been able to learn so much about being a better mom and offering a better future to my children. I know that if had spent my time judging others, myself and wallowing in jealousy and envy, I wouldn’t have seen my children blossom into joyful, early learners.
Remember celebrate your success and the success of others. We will all be better for it.