I’ve gotten into the bad habit of apologizing for how I raise my kids. With so much out there about how to be a good parent, it’s easy to find the hand full of things that I don’t do “right,” and use those few things to confirm why every other parent out there is doing a better job than me.
I’m far from perfect. But lately I realized something. There’s a reason I’m not anywhere close to perfect. Perfect is stressful. It’s a whole bag of self-judgement, which turns around on itself and becomes just plain ol’ judgement, and sucks the life out of whatever it is (or whom) you’re judging. It can be a creative project, a new adventure, or a parenting choice. Regardless, judgement and the quest for perfection sucks. Sucks the life out of anything it touches.
I am no perfect parent. My meals are somewhat healthy (but we also love our sweets). I play with my kids a moderate amount (but I also need down time). I yell and use bribes more often than I like and yes my kids do watch TV. But you know what? It works. We’ve found a rhythm to our family that is not story book worthy, but is effective in promoting a life that is less stressful and more joyful. And that’s simply because there’s less internal judgement seeping into the little moments that make up our days.
So I’m done apologizing for how I raise my kids. They are great kids by any standard, without caveats, and mostly that has nothing to do with me (or my imperfections as a parent). But when I sense an opportunity to have a positive influence I do try to make choices that are mostly positive, but also make the most sense for where we are at… and what information I have at the moment… and what needs need to be met right then.
And so, I think any mom would agree that we all do the best that we can. After all, having to make several dozen decisions an hour is exhausting! I’m bound to make the wrong choice at least half the time. But that means the other half of the time, I’m spot on (or in that general vicinity). And that’s nothing for any of us to be ashamed of.