There is no such thing as a perfect parent or perfect child. What you see online is not full reality and not a representation of reality.
I had the thought to write a post stating that my family is not perfect. A recent question from a blog reader has confirmed to me that writing this post would be a good idea. So here it is! Let me state: I am not perfect. My children are not perfect. My family is not perfect.
We are people, too. We all make mistakes. I have definitely had struggles with my children. If I had never had to problem solve, I never would have been able to write this blog! All of my many posts are derived from personal experience. If I don’t know about it, I don’t write about it. I might write to mention something exists, but I make it clear I have no experience, and I also turn to people I know who do have experience (examples are twins and low milk supply). My posts on the various challenges of parenthood are evidence that things are not the picture of perfection here.
There are some things about me that make things overall pretty easy for me…”easy” so far as parenting can be easy. The job of mom is a hard one. It requires a lot of work, effort, creativity, energy, patience, love, time, etc. etc etc. But there are things that make the whole thing a job that I love more than any other job I have had.
- Patience: When it comes to my children, I am a really patient person. It is a quality that my father has, his father has, his father had…and I am fortunate enough to have inherited that in application to my children, also.
- Foresight: I have an ability to see the effects of something long down the line. I can see how one decision will impact life long down the line. This is beneficial in avoiding problems. It is also beneficial when things don’t go well. McKenna wakes early from a nap. I don’t automatically freak out and start worrying about what to do. I look at the big picture and can see that some disruptions aren’t going to ruin life as we know it.
- Understanding: At this point, I have a good understanding of the theory behind what I am doing. I know why I am doing what I am doing and understand that how we get there doesn’t matter…just that we get there.
- Problem Solving: At the risk of sounding immodest, I am good at problem solving. When problems arise (and they do), I quickly come up with solutions that work. I think that the fact that I can help people problem solve when I don’t know the child or the entire situation shows I have an ability to problem solve. I don’t, however, think this is something that I can boast of myself. I fully believe I get lots of guidance from the Lord in this. Consistent prayer and scripture study help me be closer to Him and more able to problem solve.
- Humility: I am fully willing to take note of what I have done to cause the problem at hand. I have written posts on this topic before; many (if not most or basically all) problems are caused by something the parents are or are not doing. When something comes up, I look to myself first. What am I doing to contribute to the problem?
- Perseverance: I know that it is going to take time to solve problems. They won’t be fixed immediately–especially discipline problems. I am very willing to give time and effort into something.
- Realistic-ness: That is now a word 🙂 I know children are not perfect any more than any other person. I don’t expect my children to behave perfectly. I know there will be times they disobey. It is part of being alive. People mess up. Think of how many mistakes you make in a day. Expect your child to make much more. You have had more time to work on things.
- Experience: Not only do I have the experience of my own kids, but that of helping other moms with their kids. I hear about what works and what doesn’t. It counts for something. Keep in mind that Brayden took 45-60 minute naps until he was 6.5 months old. He didn’t sleep from bedtime to morning time until he was 6 months old. That is how it went for me as a “first-timer.” If I had him today, I think things would be different because of what I know now.
- Understanding: I get to know my child’s unique personality and take note of what that child does and does not like. Does she like socks? Does she like it warm or cool? Does she like it dark? What are her sleep cues (if she has them)?
- Logic: Whenever I have a problem, I take a step back and think, “What would I tell myself if I asked myself this question on my blog?” Really, I think that. When McKenna started the witching hour, at first I worried. I didn’t know what was wrong and what I should do. I stepped back and thought about it from the perspective of me as “blog lady” (um…some readers told me they call me that). You know what? I had an answer. Not only that, I had answered that exact question two days earlier. At this point, I have answered just about every general question that is out there (at least it seems like it), so I have the answer in my head somewhere.
I think I have good kids, but I don’t have perfect kids. And I am by no means perfect. Things always look much better from the outside looking in. Please don’t ever get discouraged as you read this blog! I write it to uplift and help you, not to make you feel like you are a failure or not good enough. I think it is always good to keep working at improving yourself, but also love yourself for you. Make goals to improve what needs to be improved, and congratulate yourself for the talents you have.