It’s challenging enough to be a mom, but being followed by photographers who document your whole life can be too much. Katie Holmes is wonderfully sincere as she describes her daughter’s accidental encounter with adult-themed candy, photographed by papa razzi.
We can learn a few lessons here:
- Recognize that information out of context can be misinterpreted.
Anyone can take an isolated incident and run rampant with it. As awkward as it seems to have a picture of a child with those gummies, I am inclined to give mom the benefit of the doubt. Every parent has moments they would like to forget. Not every parent has the luxury of obscurity. I’m grateful my moments have very little chance of being viewed by millions of people. How about you?
- Watch your own tendency to judge.
Some of you might be inclined to protest all non-bear gummies, or criticize Ellen Degeneres, or Katie Holmes. You don’t have to agree with someone, and chances are that you won’t. Regardless, if you expend energy on debating who is right or who is wrong, that’s less energy you have for your own parenting and your own life. I don’t know about you, but I need every ounce of energy I can muster to keep up with my kids and my life. Judgment and criticism also block understanding, connection, empathy, and your ability to influence. As Stephen Covey said, “seek first to understand, then to be understood”.
- Release your need for other people’s approval.
You are setting yourself up for failure if you base your success on what other people think about you. Their opinion of you is out of your control, and it’s also none of your business, in-laws included. You can still appreciate and love them unconditionally. Just be sure that you focus on what is within your control – changing yourself and your behavior. Stay true to your intention to be the best parent you can be, and be gentle with yourself when you get off track. And for the record, how your kids behave is only a reflection on you if you say it is. You are worthy and whole, no matter what your kids do. If you see a need for improvement, address it, but it doesn’t serve you to make it mean that you aren’t a good parent. Katie Holmes won’t please everyone. Neither will you, and that’s just fine.
There is merit being under the scrutiny of the public because it makes you think twice about what you choose to do. When someone is watching, people tend to be more conscious of their behavior. Before you breathe a sigh of relief that your picture is probably not going to be on the cover of a tabloid magazine, remember that you actually are in the spotlight and your actions are being monitored and studied and internalized by your adoring fans, your children. May your words and deeds be infused with grace that your kids will return to you.