I am just going to put this out there: PARENTING IS HARD! Ok, I said it – and I am sure you agree, unless you don’t have any kids yet (because then you confidently have all the answers and solutions). But if you consider any number of children yours by birth, adoption, default or surprise then you realize that we as parents have so many opportunities to screw up our kids over the course of a day.
We can feed them the wrong foods, give them the wrong medical care (too much or not enough), spoil or neglect them, set bad examples from our own behavior and choice of words. There is a teaching moment at every turn and if we don’t show our kids the right way to act 24/7 then we are setting them up to fail – or at least so it seems at times… Parenting is hard!
This weekend really ranged from success to what felt like a huge fail – when I had to do the “parenting walk of shame” (walk three of the kids out of Costco, so we could wait in the car while my husband paid).
But… Parenting is also the most rewarding and wonderful endeavor I have ever embarked upon. At night when I sit down in bed, ready to settle our baby and toddler for the night – my body is drained of all energy, but my heart is beaming with love and happiness. Tonight I am reflecting on the last few days – in all fairness and cutting us some parenting slack!
You know you are doing SOMETHING right when:
- Your kindergartener comes home from school and has a complete meltdown – because he spent all his energy on being good at school.
- Your toddler is playing with his little Lego guys and in his role play using words like “sorry”, “please” and “thank you.”
- You walk into the living room to see why your baby is fussing, only to find that it is because his toddler brother is hugging him too tightly.
- The school kid comes home and tells you how he made an effort to help someone in his class.
- Two brothers argue over a toy and both of them end up in tears because the other one’s feelings are hurt.
- You are woken up out of a dead sleep to find a little 5 year old’s face right next to yours, anxious to let you know that he loves you.
- The three oldest kids are squirting each other with the garden hose, but they are taking turns and making sure to include their toddler brother.
- There is “Sophia the First” on TV instead of “Pokemon”, simply because the two oldest want to make their younger brother happy.
- The living room floor is covered in Duplo because all the kids have worked together to build a big city.
- You wake up with a sore back from sleeping in a crowded bed, because all four kids begged to sleep together in your room!
- You walk by your 8-month-old baby as he reaches out for you and cries “MAAAAAAAA!”… OK – THAT was my favorite part of the weekend! His first word – and my husband heard it too – so it did really happen!
While parenting is hard – and we have lots of chances to screw up our kids… we really ARE doing a good job when we look at the finer details! Besides – there is a huge lesson in showing the kids that life isn’t always perfect (if ever) – some days there is dust on the shelves (most days), laundry to be done (always), clutter to be picked up (never-ending), rest to be had (when we get old) and Lego to be picked up (why bother)!
Happiness is celebrating life’s perfect imperfections!
What is your greatest parenting fear and concern?
Have you read my favorite parenting book? It will get you on the way to parenting happiness in no time, it did for me.
Don’t miss this other encouraging parenting post – Remember, we are all in it together!