Being a parent is hard. Especially being a single mom. The guilt alone can eat you alive, if you let it.

But the truth is that most of our parenting choices do matter. That doesn’t mean that any right “style” is right for every parent or every child or that any one choice can guarantee any specific outcome…and maybe that’s the point you were trying to make. It’s doesn’t mean that single-moms — or any parents with non-traditional constraints — are terrible people because they have to make the call which parenting corners to cut to stay afloat. There are few guaranteed linear relationships between cause and effect in parenting because, as you mentioned, there are 10,000 confounding factors in between.

Making conscious choices doesn’t mean we won’t fuck stuff up — because we will — but remember there are no “bad” children…they are an amalgamation of their parents’ choices, not their own.

Most of your examples revolves around food and I have to say begrudgingly, that I learned the hard way that food choices are some of the most important we can make for our kids. But I had to be beat over the head with it and I still struggle to put into practice what I know. And it’s fucking hard and expensive and I wish it wasn’t so fucking hard and expensive.

That being said, what’s the best any of us can do? We can be self-aware knowing that if we aren’t, we will pass our dysfunction down to our kids. We can course correct when something isn’t working. We can shut down our egos and listen to people for whom things are working. And, ultimately, we can become better people ourselves which will model for our kids how to become better people.

Thanks for writing me back. I appreciate your willingness to engage and hear other perspectives. 😊

Mama, writer, lover, fighter — I wear my heart on my sleeve because my pants pockets are too small.

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