It’s easy to let the ‘should haves’ and the guilt overwhelm you.
It’s easy to the let the things that go wrong seem so much bigger and more important than the things that go right.
It’s easy to let all the times you’ve been grumpy, or busy, or stressed, or anything but perfect, define you as a parent.
Parenting is hard.
We will always wish we’d handled some situations better. We will always make mistakes. But do we have to let those mistakes, those hard moments, define us?
What about the good times? What if we started to notice all the things that remind us of how well we are doing as parents?
I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging, but when I start looking for them, I suddenly see all these little things that remind me that I am doing ok at this parenting gig…
Here’s how I know I am doing ok as a parent:
When I see them all outside making a cubby house together, I know I am doing ok
When I see her dancing every spare moment she gets, I know I am doing ok
When she offers to read her little brother a story at bedtime, I know I’m doing ok.
When he comes and gives me a cuddle after a huge melt down, I know I’m doing ok.
When I see them smile, wrinkle their noses, and say ‘euuuw gross’ when their father kisses me, I know I am doing ok.
When he reaches out without looking, knowing he will always find my hand to hold, I know I am doing ok.
When they sit in a long line at the kitchen bench, all chopping veggies for dinner, I know I am doing ok.
When they ask difficult questions at the dinner table, I know I am doing ok.
When he asks to paint before he asks to watch TV, I know I am doing ok.
When she completes a lap of butterfly and I see her eyes sparkle with pride, I know I am doing ok.
When the smallest child dresses up in the same dress-up skirt that his brother and sisters also loved, I know I’m doing ok.
When any of them spontaneously put their arms around me and tell me they love me…
I know I’m doing ok as a parent, in spite of, or maybe even because of, all the times I am not perfect.
What little things remind you that you are doing ok as a parent?