I sit with other parents in an East Holstein riding hall and we watch our children riding. The two mothers next to me talk about the sleeping behavior of their children. This is not about babies or toddlers, but children in pre-school or school age. While one mother has the evening off at eight quite reliably “after work”, the daughters of the other mother need more company to sleep. I think about our situation and find myself somewhere in the middle again. Mostly our 7 and 9 year old girls are happy with reading aloud and having goodnight kisses, but sometimes they need more time and closeness.
Likewise, I can recognize myself in one way or another of the two women next to me. Whether it is the question of whether and when a child may stay at home alone or when maybe a mobile phone makes sense. Because, to be honest, the typical issues about which mothers discuss more or less intensively, only move in a different direction. Thus, the “breastfeeding or non-breastfeeding” discussion may be superseded by the “daycare or home care” dispute. If a baby sling or stroller once served as a personal opinion about being a mother, it may later be the fact when a child is allowed to go to school alone. There are a thousand things that you, as a parent, can seem to do wrong or right – but you actually only do it differently than other parents do. In the end, none of us knows whatsoever what is good and meaningful on the upwardly open “Gute Eltern” judge scale. In addition, every child is an individual and has their own, different needs. I already see this every day here in our own small “test lab” with three children.
Next to me sighs a whole parent line
I look at our children as different as they are on their horses. Actually, everyone looks very happy and confident. And after all that’s what matters in all our more or less successful educational attempts …
Suddenly, a neighing and a small outcry breaks through my thoughts and I see in slow motion how my seven-year-old daughter flies from her not-so-small horse as she trundles at the transition from gallop to trot. Fear, worry and panic come over me at the same time, but the little horsewoman immediately gets up again, knocks the dust off her clothes and quickly gets back onto the horse with a smile. The riding instructor also signals that everything is okay. I breathe and next to me a whole parent sighs simultaneously.
Afterwards we will talk about the small and big worries, which one has as parents over and over again. And we all agree that it is not the sleep mode, the amount of milk produced, or the number of kilometers traveled in the sling that determines the weal and woe of the children, but rather the fact that we see these little people entrusted to us as a gift and we transfer them over love everything. And that’s why we all have a lot of thoughts and concerns about their well-being.
Sometimes, between all these ultimately more or less irrelevant points of discussion in the parenting scene, we may well have to remember ourselves what matters. No child has to fall off his horse or even injure himself. But it always ends up a bit when we have some real worries in the short term and do not create problems we have constructed ourselves. And when I see other parents and feel that their children are just as important to them, it does not matter if or how long they were carried or breastfed in the sling or how high the proportion of whole grains in child nutrition is. Also, the question of whether wooden blocks or Lego or maybe both are in the nursery says nothing about the relationship of these parents to their children. And now I close the laptop and hug my little brave rider and accompany her to sleep after this exciting day. Just because I love her very much. Point.
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