I don’t think I’m being too hard on myself when I say that during most hours of most days, I don’t feel very successful as a parent. I work from home while also watching my 21-month-old daughter, which means she usually takes a backseat to my infinite parade of deadlines. We manage to get out and walk or go to the store or into town or the library on most days, but it never feels like enough time or attention for her.
When my 4-year-old daughter gets home from preschool, she’s often tired and cranky and so am I, which means we both whine incessentaly when I feel like we should instead being playing, creating and relaxing.
I don’t put a ton of pressure on myself to be a perfect mom, but I still wish I were better than I feel I am a lot of the time. That being said, every once in a while, I get a glimpse of my girls and breathe a sigh of relief that I must be doing something right. Parents doing it right isn’t unique — it’s the goal, after all, isn’t it? — but when I actually manage to do it right, or even just better, I try to acknowledge and savor the moment.
That happened recently when my husband snapped a photo of our older daughter during a barbeque we hosted. She just oozed a sparkle that can’t be faked, and for a split second, I realized it could have only happened in the first place because we set her up for some amount of success. So I asked a few other parents to share photos of their kids that showed that at least on some occasions, they’re doing something right by their kids, too.
Take a look:
More from Meredith on Babble:
- When Dad Doesn’t Know Best: 10 Hilariously Awkward Father’s Day Photos
- Soulumination Documents the Priceless Yet Fleeting Joy of Families with Terminally Ill Children (PHOTOS)