Mistakes. Mistakes. Mistakes. There have been a lot of them throughout my time as a parent. In fact, I’m sure I make several parenting mistakes each day, and I know I’ve made a few mistakes that will haunt me in the future. Those are the mistakes that I won’t learn about until my kids are grown with their own problems. Those mistakes will be the things that I thought I was doing well only to learn much, much later that they were like little piranhas to my kids’ souls — a little nibble here, a little nibble there.
All I can do is try to recognize each mistake as soon as possible and hope to repair any damage that was done. And my nearly 9 years of being a parent has brought about a lot of repairing, but when I think about how I’ve done as a parent, some mistakes stick out more than others mistakes where I wish I could go back in time and handle situations in a different way that would help make my kids’ lives a little better.
Here are the 10 biggest parenting mistakes I’ve made:
The 10 Biggest Parenting Mistakes I’ve Made 1 of 11
Click through to read the 10 biggest parenting mistakes I've made.
Before Addie Was Born 2 of 11
There's nothing like making a mistake before your child is even born, but that's what I did with Addie. I had a job that didn't want me to attend my daughter's birth and I was even told by the supervisor that the only way I could attend the birth was if I scheduled the day off three weeks in advance and that was only if the request was granted. My school teachers also assured me that I could not miss any of their tests even for the birth of my kid. So when Addie's birth came around, I was hesitant to attend because it happened right in the middle of my school finals and right in the middle of work. I wish I had thrown all of those worries to the side so I could have enjoyed my daughter's birth more than I did.
Enjoying the Younger Years 3 of 11
One of the things I have regretted the most as a parent is that I didn't take advantage of Addie's younger years. I didn't realize time would go by so quickly and that Addie would grow out of her younger phases and they would never return.
Family Priorities 4 of 11
School: a necessary evil. Going to law school has been one of the biggest blessings for my family, but it was also one of the biggest negatives for my family too. It has a way of sucking students into its pit of misery and never ending importance. If I could have it to do all over again, I would still go to law school, but I would take more time to be a parent throughout the process. My family didn't need to be tossed to the side as I made way through the struggles that come with earning a career that would support us.
School Priorities 5 of 11
If I really want to get technical, which I do, dinking around my whole first year of college and even more so my second year of college was a huge mistake. My GPA was terrible after my first two years of college and it was all because I had this belief that they let anyone into law school so long as they did well on the LSAT not true, by the way. This was a big reason why I was so focused on law school later on in life. Give me a good GPA those first two years of college, and law school wouldn't have been nearly as stressful, and wouldn't have taken nearly as much time away from my family.
It’s the Little Things 6 of 11
By the time I hit kindergarten, I was practically a professional kite flyer. It helped that my birthday fell during the windy, spring month of March. I could take my kite outside all by myself, prop it up against a tree, run to the other side of the yard, and have that kite 300 feet in the air like it was nothing. I don't remember who taught me how to fly a kite, but I'm pretty upset at myself for not teaching Addie how to fly a kite. The girl is nearly 9 years-old and she can't take a kite out to the backyard and get it in the air on her own. I know, kite flying isn't any kind of big thing in the grand scheme of things, but it is the little things that my girls will remember when they are parents when they reminisce about the good things I did as a parent.
The Piano 7 of 11
I've been a giant failure when it comes to teaching these two little girls how to play the piano. Addie wanted so badly to be taught to play the piano, but the timing never seemed to work. Vivi's bedroom is above the piano and piano time disrupts nap time, and we've always placed nap time as one of the most important parts of Vivi's day. Now that nap time isn't such a big thing, Addie no longer wants to learn to play the piano? Why? Because all her friends who have learned have special teachers to teach them the piano. Whoops.
The Great Binki Fiasco of 2008ish 8 of 11
Addie loved her binkies. She went everywhere with them from pretty much the first day she was born until somewhere around 2007 when Casey limited binki use to just while in bed. Addie slept with her binkies like they were what gave her life and the will to survive each day. One night Casey decided enough was enough and that it was time for Addie's binkies to go. Casey had read somewhere that the best way to get rid of the binkies was to snip off their ends while the child was asleep. I knew it wasn't going to go well, but I let it happen. Addie ended up with a new binki in the middle of the night after Casey made an emergency trip to the store, but I shouldn't have let the entire thing happen. Casey has never fully recovered from the experience and it has caused her to doubt some of her parenting skills when she shouldn't.
Religion 9 of 11
Religion isn't for everyone — I get that — but it is what I was raised with and it has given me structure throughout my whole life. Structure that I have desperately needed, and it has given me hope when I needed it most. My parents were actively engaged in teaching me about religion, but I haven't been as actively engaged when teaching Addie. We go to church and we pray before meals, but I haven't ever sat down and talked to Addie about religion. She may not even know if I believe in anything at all and, more importantly, why I believe in it.
Emotions Run Deep 10 of 11
I'm a little rough around the edges. My emotions typically stay buried deep down inside me where nobody can see them. If I get hurt, there are no tears. If Casey leaves on a trip for a week or four weeks, there is no outward showing of loneliness or sadness. My girls are very different from me — especially Addie. Addie feels everything and it takes a toll on her soul. Things upset her in ways I can't understand. In my impatient moments, I've practically ordered Addie to bury her feelings and move along. Each time it's happened, I have regretted giving her that order. Addie needs to be able to feel those things and she needs a parent who can at least try to understand what she is feeling.
Happy Memories of Nightly Activities 11 of 11
Some of the happiest moments of my childhood came when my dad and I played basketball out in the driveway for hours in the evening. Nothing like that has happened with my kids yet. My evenings are usually filled with dishes, cleaning, and exercise. I would like to be able to spend some of those evenings doing things with the girls that will give them happy memories when they are older and grown.
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