Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Motherly Affirmations

Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. The hours are demanding. No matter how hard you try, you can never separate yourself from it. It infiltrates every part of your life and changes your habits forever. And unlike any corporate position, it is a job you can never truly quit.

It is also, probably the hardest field to gauge success in.

Its not like anyone is walking around to give you a quarterly review with a list of required minimum performance specs.

_X_ Kids on time for school each day.

_X_ Balanced meals eaten 3 times a day.

___ Children kept out of harm.
(Minus 10 for Johnny's sprained wrist.)

While it would probably be nice to have a written guide or checklist to help us with our day to day parenting dilemmas, there could never be an all inclusive, say-all, end-all guide to parenting. Children provide entirely too many variables. 

Here's the secret, there is no such thing as the perfect parent.
So how do you know if you are a good mom? (or dad?)

Look to your children for those answers. Believe it or not, your children will tell you if you are a good parent, not with their words but with their actions.

My eight year old daughter came home from school a few days ago and told me about a food drive her school was hosting. "They are collecting food for people that can't buy food," she said. "And the class that collects the most food will get a party, but I don't think that's right." 

Of course I had to ask why. All kids love school parties. Why would my child not think it was a great idea?

What she said to me next changed the way I saw myself as a mother.

"Because they are just going to give them a party so they will participate," she said, "but they should do it to get the good feeling of doing something good for someone else, not just to get a party. They should do it because those other people need help and it's the right thing to do."

I was so amazed and proud of my little girl at that moment that it brought a tear to my eye. That was my moment of mommy affirmation. No matter how many things I might think are wrong with my parenting, and no matter what our situation may be financially and what I may or may not be able to provide her with because of that situation, she made it all disappear with one statement.

My child has a good heart and has learned the concepts of right and wrong, responsibility and empathy. If I were to fail her in every other aspect of parenting from this point forward, she would still have this foundation to base her life upon. In my eyes, that means I must be doing something right. 
What signs are your children leaving you?  Look for them closely, good or bad.  Your children will let you know if you are a success in the great big
 world of parenting.

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