Who knows why we make the parenting choices we make? I never said I had a coherent strategy, a long-game in mind. Tbh, I blame all my parenting decisions on my zodiac.
I'm an Aquarius, and we water-jug-carriers are known to be progressive, truthful, affectionate, free-spirited, eccentric, curious, original, independent, and humanitarian. Wow, what a motherlode of characteristics to have in your mom — what a wild treat each day must be when you are my kid!
But, to our weaknesses, we Aquariuses can be temperamental, detached, uncompromising, aloof, and prone to addiction. (In fairness, wouldn't you be aloof if Zeus talent-spotted you and whisked you off from every day life to the heavens to serve as his personal waiter for all eternity?)
I'm an Aquarius through and through. I've always "marched to the beat of my own drummer" as my mom puts it.
Much like the "Age of Aquarius" (do not try to pin down when this is or was astrologically; it's something to do with the precession of equinoxes and honestly no one can figure it out) in the '60s, I've twirled through my 30-something years of life in an almost constant state of loosely organized, creatively driven, figuring-it-out-as-I-go chaos.
But it's mostly good chaos, if there is such a thing. We Aquarians are air signs, which means we are smart thinkers who handle abstract reasoning well. We love to analyze and get to the bottom of things. My skill for probing the social media accounts of old friends and boyfriends is solid evidence of this.
There are five key elements that explain the Aquarius parenting style.
1. Maintain a constant state of nearly-losing-your-sh*t. That's right. We Aquarians are a teensy bit emotional. While some people, most likely not Aquarians, can calmly receive new information, I am not so fortunate. My kids got a few "Ns" for behavior on his report card? WHY WHAT? He's so smart. We teach him better than that at home. Sure, I'm going to come up with a plan on how to improve those grades, but first I'm going to eat Jelly Bellies by the fistful while calling up my mom to let out all my feelings on those Ns.
Or you know how kids never listen the first time you tell them to clean up their rooms? More reasonable parents, like my husband (a rational Pisces), would deliver consequences for slacking off. But I'm more likely to lazily remind them a few times to get to cleaning before stomping in in a rage, hollering empty threats, and throwing all the toys in the toy box myself. Cuz I'm a temperamental Aquarian like that.
2. The weirder, the better. I'm a loopy artistic type who has no problem expressing myself, and I expect nothing less from my kids. You want to wear that crazy hat to school? Go ahead, just don't lose it. Disney songs are best sung as a family around the dinner table really loud and probably off-key. We Aquarians are eccentric, and it shows in our parenting. The goodie bags at my kids' birthday parties are most likely going to be thrown together haphazardly and full of random stuff. ENJOY YOUR SIX LEGOS, CLICKER TOY, AND ROLL OF BANDAGES, CHILD. No Pinterest crafts here, because I'd rather just do my own thing.
The most important tenet of Aquarian parenting is do not care what anyone else thinks of your Aquarian parenting.
3. Be stubborn AF. Aquarians are free-spirited, as long as everything is on our terms. My husband can tell you all about this Aquarian parenting trait. I'm usually running late because I'm operating on my own internal clock that is apparently later than the normal clock. When I'm in charge of getting the kids to school and daycare, you can bet we're going to be racing to school with cereal in bags and shoes still needing to be put on. Why can't I just look at a clock? Cuz it's on Aquarian time, sister.
I get frustrated when things don't go my way, and I've recognized the sound of my exasperated sighs coming from my kids' mouths. If you have a favorite family ice cream place, be sure to always insist on that same parlor. Accept no substitutions, even when clearly better options exist. When it comes to proper Aquarian parenting, the more stuck in your stubborn ways, the better.
4. Love to love and teach your kids to love. Like any good Aquarius, I care too much and other times not enough. I care so much about what's happening in the country and worry about the state of humanity. I donate my money and time to causes I believe in, and try to teach my children to recognize the needs of others and help out where they can. At Thanksgiving time, my kids grocery shopped along with my husband and me for families in need and we delivered those groceries to a food bank. At Christmas, we sent a family across the country going through a rough time a box full of clothes and toys. When I love, I love with my whole heart. I tend to cling to people like a dryer sheet on the back of a shirt. Nothing hurts an Aquarian like people we love betraying us. We Aquarians care.
Until we don't, cuz air elements will shift just like *that.* Which brings me to my final parenting style element:
5. I don't give a bleep what anyone thinks about my parenting style. The most important tenet of Aquarian parenting is do not care what anyone else thinks of your Aquarian parenting. We are independent. We are original. We do things our way, and we refuse to let the "man" (or judgy online parenting communities) bring us down.
When my babies weren't getting enough breastmilk from nursing alone, I supplemented with formula — no lactation cookies, no shame. My kitchen is often full of crumbs. My toddler recently broke her leg at a trampoline place because life happens. Mommy guilt is not my bag, baby. You do you, and I'll do me. And as long as our kids are fed, cared for and educated, you know the stars are aligned.