Not Better, Different

A couple of nights ago I had a conversation with a good friend who I’ve known for almost 25 years. She’s a single mom of a boy who is a year older than Zee. In fact we’ve jokingly promised them to one another in marriage because as my friend put’s it: we know each other’s crazy. She’s right too!

This particular chat led to us talking about parenting styles. I talked about loving being able to pick Zee up from school every day and hangimg out with her in the afternoons. She talked about being fine being away from her son all day as long as she was with him before 6pm and they could have dinner together and share what happened during the day. She then said something that made me take a deep breath: I guess you’re just a better parent.

Say what? Say who?

I had to quickly refute that statement and remind her that we are both the best parents we can be and have differing methods. I can see where both our parenting styles are related to how we were parented and by our household composition. I was a single child; she had two siblings. She was raised with both parents in the home; it was just me and my mom after my parents were divorced. Her parents were older; my mom and I are separated by 20 years (my dad and I, 22).

Neither way is better. It is just the way we choose to do what we do. I have no doubt that her son loves her and she him. I also have no doubt that he’ll grow up to be an amazing young man.

There’s no one right way to do it, to do any of it and if/when either of our ways no longer works, we’re both smart enough to know when and how to adjust accordingly.