I knew this blog post title would get a lot of attention. If I saw this title on my Facebook feed I would instantly click on it to check if I AM doing it right, and then quickly want to type a comment scoffing at the idea that any parent thinks they know how to parent “correctly.”
The truth of the matter is that we are all doing it right. The second truth is that we are all doing it wrong. You have no idea what it’s like to be a parent until you are faced with new challenges everyday, that you somehow have to solve in an instant. If you make the wrong choice or deal with a situation the wrong way, you are forever scarring your children. At least that’s how we parents see it. The best part of parenting though, is when we feel like we are getting it right, that feeling is amazing. The pride, the joy, the hard work paying off, is something completely indescribable, so I won’t even try to describe it. If your a mom to a little one who says he loves you more than anything, or a parent to a pre-teen who went in for that hug, or a parent to your baby boy who just graduated college. That feeling of “getting it right” is amazing.
I wanted to write this blog post for me, to remind me of the moments I’m parenting right, in world where I daily feel like I am failing.
Parenting was something I always felt comfortable with, because there was nothing I loved more than my children, but it was something I always doubted myself with , because I was young and balancing more than what other people would call normal.
I look at my children now and I am in awe. When parents say that they have great kids, it’s quick to think “ok yeah, every parent thinks their children are great,” but no, seriously, my children kick ass.
My almost teenager is in 7th grade. When you think popular, over achieving jock, you are picturing him one hundred percent. He’s on the Football team at school, plays club soccer, takes all AP classes, and manages a schedule that would put mine to shame. I’m proud of his commitment to keep all A’s like he always has done, but even prouder of the fact that he chooses to sit on the couch and watch the Voice with us while showing me everything he liked on Instagram that day. He’s an open book, knows his expectations, and his siblings mean the world to him.
My Truly Grace is my 4th grader who is my heart. Without her, our family would fall apart. You have never met a girl who had so many friends in so many different places. Her peers respect her and quickly gravitate to her. If she had it her way, everyone around her would feel loved. She takes care of everyone and always puts herself second. Ever since I can remember, her teachers, parents, everyone has loved Truly and she’s the first to help and the last to leave. I can’t take any credit for how amazing she is, God gave her a gift and she will use it change the world. This I know is true.
Now my 1st grader, she is the opposite of her older sister. She doesn’t give 2 cents about what you think of her, and I am in love with her confidence and spunky attitude. While she’s loving and caring, and includes everyone in what she wants to do, when her mind is set, there is no changing it. She’s the girls who runs with the boys, dances to the beat of her own drum, and wears ear muffs in the summer because “who cares, I like them.” If I can just take a dash of what she has, I could rule the world, right under her.
My baby boy is my everything. He’s a pain, but he is all mine. He knows how to melt your heart, but takes what is his. He may fight you when he’s upset, but he’ll quickly kiss your boos boos and hug you until the pain is gone, vowing to never to do it again. You’ve never seen a smile that can melt you heart as quickly as my Bradley’s can. When you need a hand to hold, or need toilet paper from the other bathroom, you can count on him to get it for you.
It may seem like I’m bragging, maybe I am, actually, yes I am. There are days when I need to be reminded that in the grand scheme of things, in the process of raising humans who can make a difference in our society, I am doing an amazing job. When there are days I feel like I am ruining their lives, and am the worst parent in the world, I’ll have this post to look back on.
I don’t know how I’m doing this. I couldn’t tell you “what” I’m doing. I literally have NO IDEA what I am doing as a parent. All I know is that I cover them with love daily. More love than they will ever know. More love than they will ever need, but I do. All day long.
Covering them with Love to me, means being there to listen. Knowing when they need their space to learn and grow, picking up the pieces of their broken day, helping them find solutions, being their safe place in this scary world, and giving them the confidence and tools to love themselves. This is all I can do.
If you are a parent and you surround your children with love, then I promise you, you are doing it right.