So You're a Parent? Stop Taking It So Seriously.Meghan Gesswein
And that includes parenting.
Many of you might be gasping at that statement. You be shaking your head and thinking, “But parenting is the most important job in the world! How could you DARE say that you don’t take it seriously?! Your poor children!”
Relax, people. Yes, it’s an important job. And yes, I love and adore my children. My main goal in life is to see them reach adulthood as happy and healthily individuals. Obviously. But that doesn’t mean I have to always make sure that I’m a perfect parent. It doesn’t mean that I have to constantly stress about whether I’m doing the right thing, saying the right thing, or feeding them the right thing.
And you don’t, either.
Being a parent is hard. If we take it too seriously we’re not only going to drive ourselves crazy, but we’re going to end up inadvertently punishing our kids. We’re bound to forget that it should also be fun. And silly. They’re KIDS. They should have parents who enjoy them and appreciate them for who they are.
Does it drive me nuts that my kids won’t eat Thanksgiving dinner? Yes. Am I doing to punish them and send them to bed hungry because of it? No. I’m going to give them food they will eat, within reason.
Do I hate it when they come inside and are filthy dirty after playing outside for the afternoon? Yes. Am I going to yell and scream and banish them from ever playing outside again? No. I’m going to send them into the bathroom to wash themselves off and I’m going to break out the broom and dust pan. Again.
We’re going to have impromptu dance parties in the living room. Maybe even to slightly inappropriate songs. We’re going to eat ice cream for lunch sometimes. Some nights, we’re going to stay up late watching movies and other nights they’re going to go to bed without brushing their teeth. I’m going to continue to laugh about things that are funny now, but maybe weren’t so funny at the time they were happening.
And you know what? It’s not going to kill them. None of that is going to make me a bad parent. But it might, just might, make for a funny story or a happy memory that they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.
So yes, parenting is a big job. But you really shouldn’t take it too seriously.
Photo Credit: Jensen Sutta Photography