There are so many times that I find myself worried if I am doing this whole parenting thing right. I wonder if my action or inactions will cause my kids to become good adults. And sometimes, I lose sleep. Over the years, these eight tips have really grounded me into being a slightly more mindful mother and not allowing societal pressures or norms about parenthood to overwhelm me.
- My daughters’ childhood seems to be flying by. But, today is still made up of hours and minutes to appreciate and enjoy. My advice like Walt Whitman’s, is to suck the marrow out of parenthood and take the good with the frustrating one moment at a time. If you can take it day by day, in 10 years when you look at your tween daughter (or son) and wonder where the time has gone. You can confidently say and feel that it was a well spent childhood filled with love and joy.
- These little people following you around have never been here, on Earth, before. They aren’t trying to driving you bananas on purpose. They are just testing the waters just as you are trying to figure out how to be a parent. You are in this grand experiment together. Give yourself and them a little slack. You will make mistakes.
- There is no perfect birthday party, or dinner or life. Relax. Do your best with the best of intentions. Sometimes you have to give up cleaning all the toys up for 20 minutes of playing on your cell phone at the end of the night. And those 20 minutes do not make you an inattentive parent. This time likely gives you the opportunity to read this post. Or perhaps, allow your mind to wander and relax. Things will always need to get done. The laundry basket in my entry way has been there for at least 2 days. I will not get a fine from the laundry police or lose my mom card because of it.
- As a woman in the year 2018, you can work, be a good mom, have a strong marriage, have girls’ nights out, make a soufflé and write the next best seller. But, it’s likely something is going to get slightly less attention. It’s okay. The women’s equality movement wasn’t meant to be about doing it all, it was meant to be about choices. Too much work or too much kid time can lead to feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated. Balance seems to be the great key. Excess always leads down the wrong path.
- Don’t compare yourself or your children to others.
- If there is one thing we can do for each other is hear the wise words of Tina Fey in Mean Girls, “We need to stop girl on girl crime.” Put in your best effort and feel good about that. Kids grow differently and mature and learn at various rates. Also, comparison fosters envy which will cloud our opportunities for feeling at peace and fulfilled.
- Early on I figured out that you can’t always predict what your kids are going to do or say. This becomes more true with every passing day. Now, the older my youngest daughter becomes, the more I know I can’t dictate everything that comes out of her mouth. Though I wonder why we insist on socializing our kids because I assume the snotty remark that came out of their mouth was from another child in her class. Because she couldn’t possible have got that from us at home (right?) However, I remind myself of the beauty and richness of relationships. It is the fabric of community, the village, that helps us grow
- No one in the history of parenthood has ever said this was an easy gig. But, many agree it was one of the most rewarding. Most of all, be thankful everyday. Appreciate the opportunity to be with these little people and to love them deeply. These little people will grow into bigger people that will be pretty incredible too.