Do Perfect Parents Exist?
Take a deep breath, and repeat after me: You don't have to be a perfect mom. Nor do you have to be a perfect dad. When you hold a newborn in your arms and look into that peaceful face, it's natural to want to be as perfect as possible to not mess up your child, but the truth is that mistakes will happen no matter what.
The sooner you relax and simply enjoy parenthood, the sooner your children can blossom, and so can you. Here are a few tips on being a “good enough” parent, and why that's so important.
Stay true to your own values
Everybody has an opinion on parenting, and you will never be able to become a perfect parent in someone else’s eyes. There will always be someone rushing to assure you that you can hand make all of your children's food, and if you're not up at 5AM to pull some fresh homemade buns out of the oven for them, you're doing it all wrong.
If you choose to embrace this lifestyle, a completely different set will insist that this is cutting into your personal time with them, and you need to be out camping and fishing with them instead of baking bread.
You can never win in the eyes of society, so you may as well decide what your own values are and stick with them.
Give yourself a break sometimes
Parenting is hard work. Maybe you planned on spending all of spring break doing educational activities to further their education. After day two of the kids ripping through the house like a tornado, using scissors inappropriately, and going a little crazy with the finger paints, it's okay to put a tv show on while you clean up the mess. (Or at least have a sip of coffee.)
Give your kids a break while you're at it
Kids will be kids. They're going to drink all the orange juice without telling you, reject the nutritious meal you worked so hard to prepare for them, or have an off day in school. Kids have almost no control over their lives, and it can be hard figuring out their place in the world without the incredibly high expectations we tend to have added onto that.
As long as the things they do are fairly minor, it's okay to turn a blind eye to them. Kids are human too, and when you expect them to behave flawlessly at all times, you can create a level of anxiety and discomfort similar to that of having a micro-managing boss.
Parenting is messy. You'll make mistakes, and so will your kids. As hard as it can be to accept sometimes, both are completely normal. The next time you feel like the world's worst parent because you ordered takeout instead of broadening their tastebuds with a new food, relax. Somehow, you're still doing it right, and your kids will probably turn out fine even with a little extra pizza in their stomachs.
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