Nifty vs. Thrifty

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Being the "Good Enough" parent

It’s so easy to get over whelmed by the tasks at hand when you’re a parent. Weather it’s spending enough time with your child, keeping the house clean, paying the bills on time, keeping a job, providing healthy meals, helping with homework, or being a good wife (or significant other). The list goes on and on of the priorities we have as parents.
There are some days when the dishes pile up, the laundry goes undone, and the floor is a MESS. Ask yourself whats most important? Does that mean you’re a bad mother? Absolutely not! Step back and look at the big picture. Is your child happy? Are you happy? Is the house safe? Are all the bellies fed?

We put enormous amounts of pressure on ourselves, often to be let down by unrealistic expectations. We read about omega 3’s, tap water, vaccines, multivitamins, allergies and on and on. We compete with the Jones' and want to give our children the best toys, house or bike. It’s enough to worry us into the grave sometimes. Remember back to when you were a child. Most likely, you will not think back and wish that you’re parent had spent more time on housework or had healthier meals. You probably won’t wish that you had Atari before the other kids. For the most part, to meet a child’s needs is simple. Give them love, keep them safe and provide a nurturing environment. What does being a good parent mean to you? Chances are, you’re child will not go to their therapist as an adult and say, “I really wish my mom would have dusted more” or “My parents should have made sure I went to church every week instead of every other week” (and if they do than their in denial because you’re going to screw up a lot worse that that!!) Enjoy your children. Hug them. Kiss them. Smile at them. Being given the gift of life is one of the most special things that we often take for granted in every day life.

Unfortunately, it often takes the loss of a loved one for you to really enjoy what’s in front of you. But it doesn’t need to be that way if we slow down and look around us. Step back and appreciate the joy of parenthood. Look at the beautiful smile on your child’s face and remember that parenthood is a gift.

Sometimes, we have to put down our parenting books and say, “I am a good enough parent and that is ok!”

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