We tell our kids to always do their best and that is good enough. We realize it would be doing them a disservice to have unrealistic expectations of them right? My creative, sensitive and silly daughter is not likely going to be reading a chapter book at age 5, and that ‘s so much more than okay. She is right on track intellectually and we are trying our little hearts out to help feed into her in all the right ways. Her best is good enough.
Why do we look at ourselves as parents in such a different light? Maybe it is because we love the children in our lives so much we don’t want to do anything to mess them up. We hope for perfect, flourishing and rosey futures for them. Realistic? Not entirely. Hopeful? Yes.
The truth is, they will have hurt, hardships and pain in their lives. It is inevitable. Why do we fear this so much? Those aweful things, when dealt with in healthy ways build character, empathy and a genuine humility. Those traits are irreplaceable.
I am incredibly fearful that my imperfections are going to destroy my children. Will my short temper and need for order create deep rooted issues in them? The fear may sound irrational, but it is the little [and big] things that we experience in our younger years that shape the way we look at ourselves and the world around us. My past sure effected me and the choices I made.
Why are we so hard on ourselves? If our children lived in a perfect home, how on earth would they be able to connect and be real with the rest of the world? They might as well be secluded in a shiny little bubble. It’s not real and actually quite unappealing. We need to equip our children to grow and flourish in the real world.
Each and every day when I wake up I have to make a choice. A choice to love my husband more than I love myself. A choice to love each child with all of me in the way they need it. I need to encourage them, listen to them, support them, pray for them and laugh with them. They need hugs and love. Yes, it is a choice. Everyday it needs to be made, because we as humans are ingrained to think of ourselves first. When we don’t get to do what we want, we get resentful of whoever stood in our way. There are times when we need to come second. I am not saying you should not loose yourself at the expense of guilty parenting. The best moms and dads are secure in who they are and living out their own passions and dreams. Set aside time for you. When you aren’t in that set aside time, pour all of you into the lives of your children. To each one individually.
If we do this, I am certain we should throw away all of the guilt we carry with us. If you are worried about what kind of parent you are, you are probably doing alright 🙂 Keep pouring into them. Keep loving yourself. Every day. That, my friends is good enough. They rest is out of our control.