All parents want to make the right decisions when it comes to their children. Before having kids of our own, it’s so easy to judge the parenting decisions of others. We all think that we will have it figured out. That when given the chance, we will do it right.
It’s easy to say that you will always make fresh, organic, homemade meals for your children every day. And I’m in awe of the parents that are truly able to do that. But I will tell you, there are days when I feed my girls Ramen and hot dogs, sometimes both in the same week. I don’t always pick the healthiest snacks. Sometimes I give them whatever is in arm’s reach, because that is the easiesr thing to do in the moment. It could be because I don’t have the energy to fight to get them to eat something healthy, or I’m just too tired to cook, and i want to sit down for 5 whole minutes. Whatever the reason, I’m well aware that I’m far from perfect in this arena.
Before having kids, it’s easy to say that you will never yell, never spank, and just have them “sit in time-out to think about what they’ve done”. But I will tell you there are times when instead of using a situation to teach, I find myself losing my temper and yelling over something stupid and meaningless, because i’ve had a long, difficult day at work, and I just don’t have my best to give.
We know that as parents, we should pay attention, because the time with our children when they are small is so fleeting. But, even knowing this, I have days when I come home, and get sucked into the vortex of social media, and spend way too much time on the couch looking at my phone instead of soaking up the precious moments with my girls before bedtime.
And those are just a few common mistakes that I make. I’m working on it all. And meditation is an ongoing practice that is teaching me how to be more mindful, and long-term, will hopefully help to shift my thinking and improve how I react to situations. But I know the shift doesn’t happen overnight, and I don’t expect to ever fully nail mothering on any given day. I know that I will always make mistakes. It’s inevitable. It’s just part of the game.
In a world where all you see are perfect photos on social media, it’s easy to believe that all of the parents in the world (except you) have their lives all figured out, have perfect marriages, (somehow completely unaffected by the tiny dictators that are now ruling their lives), and are raising perfect children (that don’t beg for toys every time they’re in Target, and don’t throw tantrums because you told them they had to wear pants today). Parents, let’s just admit that none of us are perfect! We all have days where our best has fallen well below our own expectations. But the one thing that we have on our side is the fact that no one raises their child in a day. The beautiful thing about parenthood is the fact that it’s made up of 18+ years. It’s a tapestry that weaves each day together, and if we’ve done our job successfully, the good days will out way the bad, and we will hopefully have cloaked our children in all of the values, wisdom, and guidance they need to become good-hearted, smart, driven citizens that will change the world for the better. If I can do that, I will count it all, the good and the bad, as a success.
Here’s to giving parenthood our best, knowing that our best is enough for today, and that tomorrow is another chance to do better.