my hope for a better life…

Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have waxed poetic about how their parenting has inspired others, or how others have inspired them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I often hear other parents excusing their decisions because “[they] survived.” It’s a way of justifying their decisions. They were spanked as children and they survived. They rode around in the car sans carseats and they survived. If it was good enough for them, then it’s good enough for their children.

I want more for my children than for them merely to survive to adulthood. Just a few generations ago, if you asked parents what they wanted for their children, the most popular answer would have been “a better life.” Back then parents were working hard and striving to give their children a better life than they had. They wanted more for their children.

I’m not a perfect person or a perfect parent, although I am constantly working on both. I hope that just as we learned from the mistakes of our parents, our children will learn from our mistakes. I hope that they will grow up with a better understanding and respect of others, and that they, in turn, will be better parents. I hope they carry less baggage into their adult lives than we did. I hope that they are growing up secure in who they are and that they feel fully and unconditionally loved. I hope they have a better life.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

30 thoughts on “my hope for a better life…

Add yours

  1. I so agree! It’s a silly argument, anyway, suggesting there are never any consequences to something dangerous if something bad didn’t happen to you in particular when you did it.

    And you’re so right that parents in former generations were looking for more for their children. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my immigrant ancestors who agreed to leave their homes and families, just for hope that their children or children’s children would have a better life. What dedication to the future!

    I’m not working for financial success for my children, but I do hope that the next generation is better than I am in strength and compassion and integrity. Which means I have to parent to those goals!

  2. I’ve heard that too. “She turned out ok.” “There’s nothing wrong with him.” That’s not good enough for me!
    And I have told you this before, but it never hurts to repeat it: you are one of my role models! I am so glad I have your wisdom and friendship!

  3. Oh my, this is powerful stuff. You are so true that ‘turning out ok’ is NOT enough. Do we want our children to survive or THRIVE? You want the best for your children and that’s just so beautiful.. I love this post; thank you!

  4. I hate that argument too. It’s a logical fallacy for one thing-anecdotal evidence that one person “survived” something has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on whether or not that something is generally safe or a good idea. Like if something had a 50% fatality rate, that would be terrible and it’d certainly be banned/recalled. Yet you’d be able to find many people (the other 50%) who “survived”. I sure wouldn’t want my kid doing that thing though!

  5. Ditto to all that the other readers have said. Since when is it good enough to “survive”? I wonder what quality of life that parents who say “I survived” have and what quality of life they wish for their children.
    Your blog is continually inspiring and teaching me better ways to bring a fulfilling and happy life to my children. Thank you!

  6. Something that strikes me as very interesting in this post is that those parents who wanted a better life for their children were living in a time where they also had to face the thought that not all of their children would survive to adulthood…and despite these very real challenges, they still wanted a better life. Settling on survival wasn’t enough.

    You’re so right. I want so much more for my kids, not materially or financially, but emotionally.

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  8. I feel the exact same way. I want sooo much more for my little Axel. I am often confused when parents bring up the “survived” argument. I survived all right, but I’ve had to deal with a lot more hardship than I would have liked. I hope I am able to do better for my son, and by the sounds of it, I think you are already doing that for your family. Thank you for being a loving mommy- and happy late Mother’s Day. =)

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  10. I agree. The question for me isn’t whether my children will survive or not. It’s what kind of parent I want to be, and what I want for my kids in the long run.

  11. Indeed. I want more for my daughter as well. I want her to be able to be upset without fearing my displeasure (it’s okay to be upset!). I want her to know that I’ll laugh with her and love her even if she hates my favorite food, if she never goes to college, if she gets her nose pierced. I don’t want her to sit in her room, waiting for the slap of the belt that was promised. I turned out okay (I think!) but I want more for her. And I’m working on providing it in my own way. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

  12. I have never really thought about it this way. I think that’s really well written. I also want what’s best for my daughter. I don’t want her to be like me, or to ‘survive’. She has the potential for so much more. Thanks for reminding me of that!

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