"'What do you want to be when you grow up?' My answer was always, 'A mom.' I had a pretty specific picture of what that was going to look like, too. Then the children started coming and I found out they had their own ideas of how things were going to be. My ideal picture changed and changed and changed again.
"For a long time I was frustrated by this and wished things would be like my picture. I wished my kids would be like so-and-so’s kids. I endured comments and perceived thoughts from others about how I should be handling my children. And I shed many a tear when it didn’t work.
"One day I had a friend share the thought with me that these were my children and they were sent to me because of what I could do for them and for what they could teach me. My ideal picture keeps changing, but I don’t worry so much about what others say or think anymore.
"I try to be appreciative when others say 'You should …' or 'If it were my child, I’d …' and sometimes try their suggestions. But, overall I know that they haven’t worked my child all these years and they don’t know what works and what doesn’t work with that child. Mostly, I am trying to parent in partnership with Heavenly Father and be the mom my children need me to be; and allow other parents the same privilege."