Not everyone will agree with this blog post, and that’s fine with me.
I love my kid. I love her more than I ever thought I could love her. I want other children, yet I can’t imagine “splitting” my love for her. Every day with her is so exciting and amazing. I’m so lucky to be her mama. She is one of my favorite people in the entire world. I am her best friend. But she’s not mine.
I’ve always heard of women calling their children (especially their daughters) their besties. I’ve just never understood it & had moms tell me that I would when I had a child. I do have a child now, and I still don’t understand it.
My husband is my best friend. He’s my partner. I can depend on him unlike any other person. And I think that’s how it should be.
How in the world can I depend on a 9 month old? I can depend on her to want a certain routine during the day. I can depend on her being fussy if she hasn’t napped. I can depend on her getting into everything I don’t want her to. That’s about all the depending I can do on her. How has she begun to earn the title of best friend? What are we teaching our children by giving them the title of best friend innately?
I’m still rather new to being a mom, and don’t begin to claim knowing everything. What are we teaching our children if they think that your “friendship” has one up on your marriage? Shouldn’t you give them something to look forward to? Shouldn’t that be one of our goals as parents?
I am the child of a divorce. By no means whatsoever is that divorce a domino effect of this sort of topic. That divorce was more than necessary for my brother and I to have a normal, stable childhood. That’s all thanks to my mom. She always had our best interest at the top of her priority list. She always took care of us. She didn’t always have a husband when I was a child, but we still weren’t her best friends. She was our mother, and that was always made clear to us. My mom is my friend NOW. She wasn’t when I was a child. She wasn’t when I was a teenager. She’s done raising me now. I’m almost 30. Sometimes I still need my mom, but now I need my mom as my friend. That’s what she needs too.
I was a teacher before being a SAHM. I sat in way too many parent-teacher conferences with parents who had no idea how to be a parent and not be their child’s friend. I watched so many parents come after me and my colleagues as the teacher for “being too tough” on their child. When I told students who weren’t performing well or were acting poorly that I was going to call their parents, “go ahead” shouldn’t be the words uttered. Those conferences and conversations gave me a total view of the household. Your child is supposed to know their place. Your child should be afraid to call if they’ve done something wrong, for fear of disappointing you. But your child should also know that you are their first call, no matter what. It’s a fearful respect.
Your best friend is supposed to have your back, no matter what. Your parent is too, but in a parental way. You are responsible for raising them and turning them into well-rounded, wholesome citizens. How can you do that without being their parent? How can you do that by being their best friend?
My kid (and any future kids we have) will grow up knowing that we love them. They will know that we are their biggest supporters. They will know that we’ll be there to help them however we can. We will hold them when they’re sad. We will cheer for them when they’re doing well. We will be proud when they make great decisions. We will be disappointed when they make less than great decisions. We will not be their friends. We will be their parents. That differentiation matters. That’s what being a parent is all about in my opinion.