Everyone has their own view, and their own definition, of what the perfect parent is. Everyone. Including those that are not even parents.
I don’t know what your definition is, but I know my definition, has ironically been holding me back. There was no way in hell I would be able to be that perfect parent. I could never win in a match against my own definition.
So I never even tried to compete. I knew I would fail, so why try at all. Right? You know that feeling (whether it relates to parenting or not).
Which is crazy. Because it was not until recently that I even acknowledged that I even had my own definition of what The Perfect Parent was. And my oldest is 8. And because of that….I did not even realize that I could make my own definition and therefore become my own ideal version of The Perfect Parent. My own ideal version that helps make our life an amazing adventure. A version of who I ALREADY was. Myself.
I felt trapped, held prisoner, with that outdated definition. But before I can break down the revised definition, let me describe to you the old version because I have written edits in big red sharpie on the old version so much, that it is not even recognizable anymore.
And let me just be clear. VERY CLEAR.
YOU ARE ALREADY A PERFECT MOTHER. NO. AN AMAZING PARENT. Just because my list includes something that you do in your every day life….I am NOT saying that you are a crazy insane perfect person. I am saying that your definition is NOT my definition.
And my definition is NOT your definition. I will have items on my list that does not fit in your life! I am in no way attack or belittling or making fun of who you are as a parent. We all learn from, and help, each other. I just want to make that abundantly clear. The point that I am trying to make with this post…is that sometimes (and not everyone, nor all the time), how we see ourselves as a parent, how we compare ourselves to others, can make us feel like a failure because the ideal view we have in our head…may make us feel inadequate.
And as parents…we are not inadequate. We are fierce. We are amazing. We are brave and courageous. We have brought life into this world and we are all trying to help raise them to be their best selves. Sometimes we just forget to realize that the journey we take as a family, how we parent, how we raise our children….is already perfect.
So here is The Original Perfect Parent (from the eyes of me, you have your own version….even if you don’t realize it….you do):
The Original Perfect Parent Definition (As published in Kelly’s Brain):
- Never losses their patience or raises their voice. Always uses a calm and soothing voice
- Never makes their kids tuck themselves in at night. Always tucks in their kids, even if for the 500th time in 42 minutes
- Never gives kids a lunchable for dinner. Always cooks a home cooked meal, every night. And bonus points if they allow their kids to help cook
- Always has an organizational chore chart in plain sight. Bonus points if its broken down by day of the week. Extra bonus points if its broken down by time of day.
- Has a healthy breakfast prepared before the kids rise and lunches packed and ready to hand them off as the kiddos head out the door
- Is always there when the kiddos wake up, and go to sleep
- Has been reading to their kids since the first positive pregnancy test
- Has weekends full of arts and crafts and activities to keep the kids busy and entertained
- Does not allow their kiddos to watch, or be in front of, a screen for 2+ hours
- Makes sure their kiddos take a nice warm bath and brush their teeth every single night
- Has all the finances figured out. Bonus points of bills are paid
- Rushes to their kiddos side the second they fall down
- Knows all the right things to say at all the right times
- Chases their kiddos around the playground or wrestles with them on the floor
- Never lets their kiddos drink pop or eat candy
- Never bribes their kiddos (because maybe their kiddos always listen and obey the first time)
- Takes their kids to every museum and zoo and educational parenting field trips from A to Z.
- Teaches them life skills at every opportunity that presents itself
- I could probably add more if I think longer or deeper about it.
Now let me reiterate. You may be a parent that does 1, or 5, or even ALL of those items above. That does not mean I think LESS of you. YOU ARE AN AMAZING PARENT. AND WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS PERFECT FOR YOUR FAMILY. It’s just that those ideals you hold strong – do not fit our family. And I need to stop comparing my idea of perfect against your idea of perfect.
Heck – I have learned some of the below items on my Revised Perfect Parent definition – from people I value and trust and love. And I am sure some of you all may have learned something from me (heh…probably not, who am I kidding!). Moving on…
Original Updated Perfect Parent (As re-published in Kelly’s Brain):
- Sometimes losses their cool – but accepts responsibility and apologizes to the kid later. Also sometimes losses their patience 10 minutes after they get home from school.
- Sometimes sends the kids up to bed with a kiss on their cheek and makes them tuck themselves in. Even if for the 8th day in a Row. Because sometimes – that patience has gone out on the town to go see the band – Lost Patience – in concert. They gotta have groupies too right?
- Sometimes gives a kid a lunchable for dinner, and lunch, and sometimes breakfast. It has protein!? Because sometimes – thats the only thing that kid will eat, even if for the 18th day in a row. Something is better than nothing!
- Hasn’t gotten to the trusting the kid in the kitchen bc they fear ADHD and kitchen machinery does not mix…yet.
- There is an organizational chore chart somewhere. I just have to uncover the filthy countertops first. But I am sure it has the month and dates even written on it….it may be a couple years old, but it is there!
SometimesAlways has the kids eat breakfast at school in the morning because A) they get there early enough and B) tried to feed them breakfast but falling back asleep after getting dressed and backpacks on – is much more enticing.
- Mama (I) go to work at 3am. And honestly – I am quite glad I am not home in the morning. Mornings are insane around here (been experiencing that since I have been home due to the surgery). It’s too much stress for me. And….if I were in charge of mornings, I can 100,000% guarantee you that Mr. Man would NEVER make it in to school in the morning.
- Sometimes I read to them when requested. But it wasn’t until a couple months ago that we started reading to them at bedtime, after tucking themselves in instead of making them tuck their selves in.
- Sometimes I have something grand planned for the weekend. Sometimes I just don’t want to leave the couch and make the kids play around the house. Arts & Crafts? Heh. They do that at school! I mean – that’s what is covering our dinner table right now…..Thankfully they are pretty good at entertaining themselves.
- Sometimes….you just have to let them carry a tablet around, because sometimes – you just need them to focus on something else and leave you alone! Love my kids…but sometimes, letting them watch Netflix, is the only thing that can calm Mr. Man down.
- Sometimes you send your kiddos up to take a shower, that lasts for 45 minutes. But you aren’t quite sure if they added anything but water to their bodies….and getting wet is even questionable. You hear the water running downstairs…so they are probably getting their hair wet right?
- Sometimes you wish you had your own adult that pays the bills for you AND gives you a weekly allowance. If anybody wants to interview for that position – let me know!
- Sometimes, when your kid falls – you have to let out a little (or big) chuckle. And then you can tell them to walk it off and come over to you. No need to get up – unless they can’t move or are seriously bleeding, or something worse of course!!!! Come on guys! I am not that heartless. Just a little.
- Sometimes when asked a question or faced with a situation where you need to say something really wise and profound – like those Hollywood moments you see on TV – sometimes you have a brain fart and quickly change the subject! Because sometimes you don’t always have your own earpiece feeding you lines!
- Sometimes you take your kids to the park so that you can get some peace and quiet (ironic huh?). Sometimes you are tired of them using you as a jungle gym so you sometimes need to send them to go climb something else while you do whatever you want (within reason of course) for a couple minutes.
- Sometimes you just have to bribe a child with a sugary treat so that peace will be had. Or because sometimes you don’t want to get off the couch but you have a piece of sweet treat that you know they may want.
- Sometimes you hope that they know what the idea of a museum is. Sometimes you cannot remember if you have even taken them to someplace like that.
- Sometimes you see an opportunity as a moment in time where you can teach them an important life skill or two. Other times – it went straight over your head too. Or sometimes – you just don’t have the time.
- I could probably add more if I think longer or deeper about it.
One thing I do know, is that YOUR VERSION and MY VERSION of the PERFECT PARENT – have alot of similarities:
We ALL Love our kids unconditionally and want to do whatever is best for them.
We ALL would go to the ends of the universe and back a couple times for our kiddos
We ALL want our kids to be strong, confident, healthy, and be able to perserve and overcome and succeed.
We ALL believe in our kids.
We ALL are on our OWN journeys.
Therefore – we are ALL the PERFECT PARENTS that WE NEED TO BE.