It’s no small thing to become a parent!
The sudden responsibility of not only keeping your little one alive, but ensuring they have the healthiest, happiest, most fulfilled life possible can seem daunting. Throw in a whirlwind of sleepless nights, tears and tantrums, and comparison to other parents, and it’s easy to feel like you’re failing before you even start.
While the world seems all too eager to tell you the. one. right. way. to parent, the truth is the world is changing. Parents now come in all shapes and sizes and genders and couplings (and non-couplings!).
In the U.S. there are over 547,000 married same-sex couples and between 2 million and 3.7 million children with an LGBTQ parent, and approximately 200,000 of them are being raised by a same-sex couple.
It’s time to celebrate inclusive parenting – and stop feeling guilty when traditional parenting advice doesn’t work for you.
There’s a lot of advice out there about how to be a good parent. From sleep schedules to disciplining to disposable vs. cloth diapers, everyone has an opinion.
Because there are so many variations it’s easy for people to get defensive about their parenting decisions. Often, it’s their way of feeling secure in the choices they made.
As researcher and popular author and speaker Brené Brown said, there’s no one way to be a good parent. In fact, there are a million ways… and none of them involve shaming other parents.
One of the secret keys to being a good parent might just be supporting other parents.
Like children, families come in all shapes and sizes. There are two dad families, two mom families, single-parent families, children raised by grandparents, foster families, one dad and an aunt… the combinations are abundant, just like parenting styles.
In a culture that likes to hold measuring sticks to various aspects of our lives, it’s time we dropped the metrics and simply supported one another. After all, the energy we put towards criticizing diverse parenting styles and choices means that we have less energy to love our children and ourselves. Judging and shaming only takeaway from being the best parents we can be.
The example you set
If you still struggle with showing your fellow parents some love, keep this in mind: the behavior you demonstrate for your child teaches them more than what you say. The best way you can teach your child to be accepting and loving of other’s isn’t telling them – it’s showing them.
Every parent wants their child to feel loved. In turn, every parent deserves love, too. The days can feel long, the years short, and the mood swings erratic, but most parents would agree: this journey is the best one yet.
Let’s embrace one another with understanding and empathy in our hearts. Everyone is truly doing the best they can, and it’s a huge weight off when we stop judging others and start loving them instead.
The role of “parenting” can feel challenging, and we all need as much support as we can get.
That, and a weekend getaway.
From our home to yours,
David and Danny, fathers and founders, Kekoa Foods