“Thanks, but…

I don’t need your approval.”

This is something I’ve wanted to say for quite some time.

“Glad you feel that way, but I don’t really give a damn.” 

This is something I wish more parents would say.

I’m not saying that it’s something that should be directed at your kids. Nah. It doesn’t really apply. Well, in some situations. What I’m talking about is this: I wish more parents would say things like that to OTHER parents. Or hell, even their OWN parents! Some people like to stick their noses where they don’t belong and they need to be told to “butt out.”

I know that there are parents out there who definitely take this attitude when it comes to people making comments about their parenting skills – kudos to you. I, for one, USED to have those balls and lost them a few years back. However, I’m regaining them at a rapid pace. Kudos to me.

But seriously. My relationship with my son’s biological father has always been a strained one. Our relationship was full of belittlement, negativity, and put downs. Once we split, I began seeing my full potential and discovered the person I am. I rediscovered the world. It was amazing. I thought things were going pretty well, especially concerning our communication. However, I discovered that was NOT the case when I was handed court papers and we went to court because of a lack of communication. I had been accused of child neglect and it was simply because someone said a few things that were misinterpreted or taken in the completely wrong context.

Even though it was determined that all of the information was either false, misinterpreted, or taken out of context, it was still a terrible experience and it left me scarred.

Prior to that, I had no doubt about my skills as a mother. I knew I wasn’t perfect, but I also knew I was doing my damn best, given the circumstances. I loved my son like no other, cared for him, provided everything I could, and I knew that I would do absolutely anything for him. That’s what makes a good mom, right?

Well, that whole situation left me wondering, “Is it enough?”

I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty of my situation but I will say that making ends meet was tough. But my son and I had food, water, a home, clothing… everything we needed. It wasn’t always easy, but we got by. Then I had a good turn of events happen – we moved into a house with my then boyfriend, now husband, and I started a new job that was giving me MUCH better pay. Things started getting really great, and then it went downhill when all that court stuff came up. It’s still tough to think about.

I’ve realized that I’m the type of person who, when I hear someone thinks negatively of me, will take a step back and wonder, “What did I do to make them think this and what can I do to change that perception of me?” Granted, I only do this if I actually CARE about their opinion. At that point in time, I did care what his father thought because I was trying to maintain a good relationship – for the sake of my son. So when all of those accusations started flying, I went overboard. I over-analyzed everything I did as a mom, I worried constantly about what other people thought of my parenting skills, I was cautious when it came to discipline – afraid that even the slightest correction would be seen as “abuse.”

Pardon my French, but it f*cking SUCKED. I had SO many great things going for me and I had such a difficult time enjoying them because I felt I HAD to worry. I spent years of my life walking around on eggshells while I was with his father; it’s why I LEFT. I spent at least another year and a half continuing to walk on eggshells because of him. I decided one day, a few months ago, that I was done being pushed around and made to feel as though I was inadequate as a mother. I am the best damn mother I possibly can be and THAT’S exactly who my children love and need – not this extra cautious and careful mother who is stressed to the max and has a fake smile plastered on her face, worrying constantly if she’s doing everything right.

Only thing is, it didn’t really hit me until a few days ago. I received an “apology” message which included something to the effect of “…you’re a good mom and I’m thankful for that.”

I read that and thought, “Thanks, but I don’t need your approval.”

FREEDOM!

I DON’T NEED YOUR APPROVAL.

It’s so SATISFYING to say that.

All that time I was worried, I KNEW I was a good mom and I knew I was doing a good job with my kids but I still worried. Having your child taken away over false accusations is one of the scariest things you can ever go through as a mom. It’s a nightmare.

However, that nightmare has made me into a MUCH stronger woman and I thank God for that every single day. Honestly, it probably would have been much harder if it hadn’t been for all the praying I did.

I used to look back at everything and wonder, “What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently?” Like I said, I did care at one point about how he viewed me. But after years of watching the same pattern repeat itself over and over and over again, I’ve finally learned that it’s not ME, it’s HIM. As long as I’ve known him, he has been full of negativity, constantly questions the reasons behind acts of kindness, and has zero issue with putting others down to build himself up. With that being the case, I know he will continue to view me in a negative light (unless a meteor comes crashing down and knocks some sense into him) and since that’s more than likely how it’s going to be, I no longer care how he views me.

I only care about how my son sees me and to him, I’m the “best Mommy ever” and that’s all I need to hear.

So instead of looking back and wondering where I went wrong, I now only look at my son (and daughter) and see everything I did RIGHT.

If anyone ever questions my parenting again, all I’ll say is, “See that amazing little boy and beautiful baby girl right there? They are proof of my parenting skills and you know what? I’m doing a DAMN good job.

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