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Parenting can be lonely, but it doesn't have to be

Parenting is hard enough without feeling judged.
Parenting is hard enough without feeling judged.
Photo: OakleyOriginals on Flickr

Parenting can be very lonely. Sometimes it seems like everyone else is doing things differently. Sometimes it seems like they are all doing it better. With so many parenting styles, discipline methods, and attitudes about parenting, it's no wonder people feel alone. Then throw in the different philosophies about material possessions, educational choices, sports, classes... There's a whirlwind of confusion.

So how does a parent navigate all of the choices? How do parents decide what is best for their family? So many parenting topics are taboo. Bring up discipline, vaccination, schooling, or circumcision, and the claws come out. But if parents are not allowed to discuss these topics, how can they make informed choices? Shouldn't sharing research and even personal anecdotes be encouraged?

It is time for these battles of who is right and what is right and when it's right to end. Parenting is hard enough without everyone teaming up against each other. Having complete responsibility over a child's upbringing is stressful. Knowing that every choice you make affects the future of a little innocent being, who you love so much, is terrifying. Feeling judged every moment of every day is heartbreaking.

So reach out. Talk about your choices. Talk about your struggles. Ask questions. Give answers. It will benefit everyone – parents and children alike. Because if you wonder about it, chances are someone else is sitting at home fretting over the exact same thing. Keep an open mind when engaging in conversations about these loaded topics, and approach them with compassion and kindness instead of judgment and defensiveness because everyone loves their children, everyone is doing the best they can with the information they have, and everyone needs a little encouragement now and then. Even you.

It's a scary world out there, but it doesn't have to be a lonely one.