Most of us, the parents, confront the thoughts about good parenting, day-after-day. Have I done enough? Am I making good decisions? Could I have done more?
All the emotions caught up in parenting has been found to be a mush of so many elements including personality types, past hurts, childhood experiences, circumstances, parenting styles, lifestyles …
What always astounds me, is the perspective that time brings to the picture. When we start our parenting journey we are always seriously on top of our game! Yes, we start off vowing NOT to make our parent’s, or the other parents’ mistakes. We have a certainty to take this challenge, and correct all the wrongs we have suffered, by being extraordinary parents to our children.
Almost always, these expectations blow up in our faces …
Yes, even those parents that might seem to have the most perfect children and lives, suffer the same fate. It is an utterly uncomfortable experience!
As our children grow up, instead of executing a well-thought-out plan, we are left to navigate the waters of children acting and reacting totally opposite to how we expected they will act. To understand them we must adapt to completely new generational viewpoints. Parents also deal with the whiplash effect of our own most annoying DNA parts being passed onto these little humans, while they hold our hearts in their hands.
BUT, as time move on and our characters build, we realize that this is how it’s supposed to be.
PARENTING: It is hard and unsure. It leaves you totally vulnerable and frustrated, but stays the most rewarding experience in your life.
Why? Because it was never supposed to be about our plans, our specific expectations and all the star charts we felt we must complete for ourselves during this challenge.
The whole purpose of this life changing journey called parenting; is to learn what it means to not just live for ourselves. To help us to understand God’s love for us. The love no parent can put into words.
That is it.
That is what parenting is about. You are not going to be the one who comes last in the “good parenting race”. You will reap what you sowed in love into your children’s lives, but the perfect parent award none of us win, because there is no such thing.
The writers of Education Matters gave these very insightful thoughts:
“Comparing, judging, feeling fear and guilt is totally unhelpful and unproductive. All the rushing around for our kids in a fiercely competitive culture is driving everyone crazy (kids and parents). Children from affluent families are 2-3 times more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress than children in poverty.
There needs to be more time and space to just be.
Perfection at work and at home is unachievable.”
(www.educationmatters.co.uk, 4 Jan 2019, What does it mean to be a ‘good enough parent’?)
Let’s stop wasting time on the unachievable and revel in the peace of being who we are for our children, leaving perfection behind.
Written by Johanni Meiring
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