I have some pretty incredible friends. Many of them are parents. They are all so incredibly inspirational, encouraging, motivating, genius and simply amazing.
It got me to thinking about what made them those things. None of them share any of the exact same parenting philosophies. Not all of them have easy or always happy kids. Not all of them are two parent households. And some are like night and day if you were to compare them. Yet, they are all such great parents.
They all have one thing in common. They love their kids. Sincerely and genuinely. How can you not respect that? And they recognize that they do not have all the answers. They are open to discussion about why they make the choices they do and listen earnestly. They are creating the next generation of critical thinkers and empathetic contributors to society.
To all the parents who:
* breast feed or formula feed or extend breast feeding into toddler hood
* cloth diaper or disposable diaper or skip diapers all together
* bed share or co-sleep or have baby in their own room from night 1
* had epidurals or unmedicated labors
* had cesareans or vaginal deliveries
* are super mom or hero daddy or laid back mommy or care-free daddy
* have playrooms or man caves
* home school or private school or public school
* vaccinate on schedule or modify vaccine schedules or do not vaccinate at all
* teach their child about Santa or tell the truth from the beginning
* have an adventurous elf on a shelf or do not have one or has a lazy elf that's always being touched
* have staycations or travel frequently
* have strict bed times or lax bed times or no bedtimes at all
* stay at home or work from home or work out of the home
* have cookies for breakfast or ban sugar
* watch Adventure Time with their kids or don't own a TV or only allow educational shows
* make homemade costumes or buy them on Halloween at the store or not at all
* are helicopter parents or "they'll be fine" parents
* have date nights or mommy nights or daddy trips or family time all the time
* throw big parties or little parties or no parties at all
* take too many pictures or too few pictures or no pictures at all
* live in the moment or plan months in advance
* make decisions for their children based on what works for their family despite any social beliefs, peer pressure or traditional ideologies
Thank you. Thank you for parenting. Thank you for being the boo boo kissers, the story readers, the first teachers, the playground referees, the chauffeurs, the rainbow makers and the parents that inspire me to be a better mommy each and every day.