Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Parenting Right When You're Sure You're Screwing Everything Up

Parenting is tough and doesn't come with instructions. Every parent tries their best, but no matter what you do, there will always be someone along the way who judges you for something you do. There is no one right way to parent children, although many feel their way is the only way. But, what really matters is how you feel you're doing as a parent, and how your children feel you're handling the task.

Parenthood is a crazy, crazy roller coaster, full of flips, turns, bumps and something unexpected right around the corner. Some days, you're soaring at the top of the roller coaster, thinking, "I got this." Then, other days, you're diving back to the ground thinking, "What the hell am I doing?"

Every parent has those days where they are sure they are screwing everything up. Some days, you can't help but wonder if you've really made the right choices regarding a certain situation with your children or if you could be doing more. It's normal to have those doubts because that shows you care about your children and are doing the best you know how. Everyone can look back at their childhood and see moments of error their parents had while raising them. What errors will your children look back to see about your parenting?

Throughout the years, I've found there are little moments with your children where you just stop for a minute and think, "Yup, I'm doing something right." For example, my children love each other and play so well with each other. But, then there are days where they just can't get along and fight constantly. They quit sharing and everything turns into me, me ME! It really makes me stop and think, did I some how fail to teach them how to have compassion or share?

But, then something happens with one of the kids-- an injury or an illness. All of the hoarding toys and bossiness comes to an end as all of the kids gather around the child who's out of commission for the day. When I see them offering to stay to read a book instead of riding their bike, fetching toys, making get well cards, or just hanging out on the couch with the kid who isn't feeling 100 percent that day, I know we are doing something right. The kids go above and beyond to make the other child feel better and will put their day on hold trying to make that happen.

Or, when you're walking through a store and a random stranger drops something. Without missing a beat, one of your kids has picked it up for them. Or, when they come home from school and tell you about the child who was getting bullied and no one wanted to play with her. So, they decided she was probably sad so they said they would be her friend and played with her. 

Some days, you really feel like you just might be going crazy when you raise a large family. It's perfectly normal to doubt yourself and some parenting techniques sometimes, especially when people chirp in your ear that their way is better. But, nothing is more reassuring than these little moments where you realize you're parenting right, even when you're sure you're screwing everything up.

These little things really are what matters the most because deep down inside, all of your effort thus far in their life hasn't been for nothing.

Do you ever doubt whether or not you're doing everything right as a parent? How do you realize you're doing something right despite the doubt?

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