Lil’ Pea is the collector of all things, following in a close second behind her big sister and we’ve yet to see who is the greatest collector of all! Big Pea gathers random items and puts them under her covers and Lil’ Pea wakes in the middle of the night to add to her random collection next to daddy’s head. As I sit in the mornings blogging, I typically see items flying from the bed as DH awakes to his morning treasures. Why? It must be a reflection of my parenting skills!
I have pondered over this for some time now, thinking that it must somehow be a glitch in my parenting skills. It’s funny, it’s cute, but all things have a serious, underlying tone of brutal psychology behind them. Oh the joy of parenthood, they arrive, they are wonderful, beautiful and perfect, even through colic and sleepless nights. But alas, they begin to grow, their brains begin to think for themselves and suddenly you get to live everyday with a big serving of parental guilt! Your slogan for life is suddenly..The Guilty Parent!!
Whether it be guilt about the amount of vegetables your kids ate today or how you handled the “I accidentally flushed the fish down the toilet” situation, we as parents give ourselves a constant dose of guilt daily. At night after I tuck the kids into bed, I ponder about the mistakes I made that day. My brain sounds a little something like this “crap, corn wasn’t enough, I should have fed them broccoli” quickly followed by “should I have given her a time out for getting angry at her sister, I mean she was pulling her hair for goodness sake”! The list goes on and some days the guilt is stronger than others. Well I say enough is enough!
There is certainly a healthy amount of guilt, but I think most parents are like me and overdo it by a long shot. I like to think that most humans are innately good! The majority of parents want to do right by their children and use the skills that they have developed over time to make the best decisions when it comes to parenting. Our job as parents is to do better than our parents did…sure, your parents may have been close to perfect, but there’s always room for improvement.
So rather than riddling myself with guilt and angst every night, I have decided to ponder the day and make a plan of how I think I can make it better! I also have to leave a little room for imperfection, because my goodness, it’s impossible to be perfect everyday! My kids may not eat enough vegetables today and maybe they missed their bath tonight (shoot!) but my kids know that I love them and at the end of the day I can say that I did the best I could and that’s all that really matters!