Like you, I can be described with many different words or titles, but my favorite is “Daddy.” I love being a parent.
I have two amazing children and there’s nothing sweeter than hearing their cute little voices yell my name or say “I love you.” I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
But, do you know what? Parenting is hard. And, sometimes I have no clue what I am doing! (Whew, I said it!)
I think every parent feels this way at some point (or all the time), but I’m not so sure every one of us wants to truly admit it. You see, we parents are notorious for setting unrealistic expectations on ourselves (and our children). We want people to think we have all the answers, we never make mistakes and our way of doing things is best.
We’re probably like this because we live in a culture that expects us to always have it together. Or, appear that we do. You know, “never let ‘em see you sweat.”
So, why is parenting so hard, anyway? I believe it’s because there is no one way to parent. There are no step-by-step instructions. There is no one right answer. In fact, what brings success today may lead to epic failure tomorrow.
Think about it this way. Parenting is an art not a science. Science follows a set of rules that produces the same results time and time again. Water always boils at 212 degrees. Throw an apple in the air and it will always fall back to you.
Parenting doesn’t work that way, though. You can raise two (or more) children the exact same way and get completely different results. For example, when my daughter was a toddler, a stern look from me would make her cry. When I look at my son the same way, he laughs! The fact that they are so different forces me to adjust.
I’m not suggesting I have all the answers. My children are just two and five, so I have more questions than answers!
Here’s what I do know. It’s possible for you to be a great parent without always having it together. Yes, you!
Have you ever read this quote? “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it.”
I think parenting can be summed up this way. Parenting is not the absence of fear, frustration, exhaustion, impatience, insecurity…you fill in the blank…but the mastery of it.
But, how do we master those feelings?
First, be honest. Admit you don’t know everything and be okay with it. Don’t expect yourself to be perfect. Trust me, that’s a burden too impossible to bare. Second, ask for help.
I know you are familiar with this quote…”It takes a village to raise a child.”
Find some village people. Surround yourselves with folks that have experience and won’t judge you even when your child is acting like the village idiot. (Or, when you are for that matter!)
Most importantly, remember that every parent makes mistakes. Learn from them and move on!
You are doing an amazing job! Your children love you!
How would you encourage other parents? What advice would you give to help parents master fear, insecurity, frustration, etc? Leave a comment and tell us!
Challenge: Send an encouraging note to a parent this week.
P.S. Not a parent? Be a village person! Parents are looking for you!