My children are 17 and 20. I am (most of the time) fairly content with how they’ve turned out. And I can honestly tell you:
I’ve been both a permissive parent and an authoritarian parent.
I’ve been their best friend. And they’ve occasionally loathed me.
As for lawnmower, helicopter and snowplow? Check, check and check. At one time or another I’ve been all of them. And none of them.
I think we’re quick with the labels.
And even quicker with the blame.
What I believe is that so much of who my children were, and much of who they grew to be, was written in their cells long before my parenting played a part in it.
I believe in showing up when I can, and being honest about why sometimes I can’t.
I believe in apologizing when I’m wrong, crying in front of my kids if the tears want to flow, and fighting/laughing/forgiving on an “as needed” basis.
I believe that even big kids need guidance and reassurance. Maybe even some occasional coddling. (They may even need it more than our little kids do.) Heck, I still need those things from my mom from time to time.
I wish we could stop the shaming and the blaming. I’m weary of the labels that can never define all that goes into parenting a human being.
If it all goes by as quickly as everyone says it will (and I can confirm it does), why are we wasting our precious minutes worrying about labels?
There’s only one parenting label that matters. It’s the only one I’ll subscribe to forever. It’s the only one I ever really wanted.
And it’s “Mom.”