Who are you listening to?

What is it about salt air?

The sand between your toes and the water lapping up.

Waves rolling in. Beautiful, smooth faces and powerful crashes.

Imagine for a moment how the surf could be a metaphor of parenthood. Our infants begin as tiny beings. Creating waves of emotion when they are born.

Continuing out past the first break of waves, you start to get into the bigger, heavier surges. It’s like heading into those elementary and junior high years…you know instinctively that the stakes are rising.

And then you hit the excellent surf. These waves are the teenage waves – thick, intense, unpredictable; catching one wrong and it’s like being in a washing machine. Upside down and off center; terrified of crashing into the bottom before breaking the surface and gasping for air.

What is your day at the beach like?

Some of us enjoy the ocean and call it a day. Our parenthood experience is a joy – simple, fun, and relatively painless. No being slammed into the ocean bottom.

Others of us are at the beach and suddenly realize a hurricane is imminent. If we’re lucky, it’s one or two storms, but sometimes it’s wave after wave.

Finally, there are those of us, that are victims of a tsunami. One minute it’s fun in the surf, and the next moment there’s a wall of water towering above us…threatening to consume all that we hold valuable.

This variable ocean experience of parenthood is hard enough to navigate without the additional pressure of judgment and expectations from others.

I kept my littles this past week and found myself on the front lines of this collective opinion phenomenon.

Do this, not that
Do that, not this
To spank or not to spank
Self-esteem vs. self-discipline
Eat or not to eat

Every decision being made was weighed by something I had read on “The Online” and/or concern about being judged by others.

I was raised in the 70s y’all – arguably a much simpler time – AND my children were mostly raised before “The Online.” We were oblivious to the “The Online” thoughts and opinions of our parenthood skills and choices. People didn’t weigh in on lifestyles like they do today, and if they did, we didn’t necessarily know about it. I know nostalgia can be a liar, or at the very least, a storyteller, but there is something to be said about times past and how complicated we’ve made things for ourselves.

Found this written in my Bible this morning…I can’t remember who I heard it from or what was going on at the time but loved being reminded: Seeking man’s approval is outsourcing our identities to fellow humans who are as selfish, short-sided, and fickle as we…

I don’t know the ocean you’re facing today – whether it’s in your parenthood, your career, or your marriage. For me to pipe in without walking with you is careless at best and cruel at it’s worst. I believe all this collective ONLINE wisdom is distracting us from the still small voice inside each of us…the voice that has our very best interest in mind. He is our audience – our audience of one – his is the voice and opinion that reigns above all others.

I’d love to surf with you today…whatever ocean scenario you’re facing ❤️

** Y’all think I’m kidding about the 70s and today – funny little post

Y’all – this is the most helpful app I have found in a long time…absolutely loving it! And it’s not just for writing blogs or stories or whatever else writers do – it’s fantastic for emails, filling out forms online, and work related writing. AND it’s free :)

The legal stuff – I’ll never write nor promote a product I don’t believe in…with that said, this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission – we’re talking small – like less than a dollar – these small commissions simply help me finance this blog.  Thanks for being here.

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Donna Matthews is a blog writer at the DJRanch where she strives to remain authentic while not taking herself too seriously. She is also the creator of Slay The Chaos (www.slaythechaos.com), where she writes about productivity and organization. She is a member of The Writers Guild and Write Space in Houston and is currently writing her first book.