Do you ever find yourself wondering and hoping that the decision you are about to make is the best one? Do you ever feel guilty and/or overwhelmed? You are not alone. Every parent has those feelings at one time or another. It’s as if we believe we have to do this perfectly.
Parents carry a tremendous responsibility, making choices and decisions that affect another person for an entire lifetime. I think of that often. What a weight to bear. Every parent and caregiver knows there are endless choices and decisions that must be made on a daily basis. How can we possibly do it perfectly every time? We can’t.
Some might think if their strategy worked with child #1, they can use that same strategy with child #2. Great idea! Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work. In fact, rarely. No matter how many children you have, no two ever seem to be the same. There are no shortcuts.
In our family, when I was growing up, we had five children. We lived in the same house, went to the same schools, same church and had the same parents all through our childhood. Yet, we were very different kids. I’m sure you have seen that in your own family. One size does not fit all in ANY family. So, it would make sense that there is no “perfect” way to parent. Rather than focusing on “right” choices, why not focus on “healthy” choices? Focus on being conscious (aware), not perfect.
For years, I have been honest with my children that I am not perfect. I openly admit that I have made mistakes, that I am making mistakes and that I will make more mistakes. They know I don’t have all of the answers, but they also know I do my very best for them. As they are getting older, many times they have input on the decisions we are making. Other times, I ask them to simply trust me, that I have insight and wisdom they do not yet possess. We have created a relationship around these conversations.
Remember that you are the captain (or co-captain) of the ship (your family). Just like in the ocean, there are going to be waves, storms and changes in course. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being present and getting to your destination intact. It’s about taking responsibility and choosing to be conscious and aware of what is happening around you and your children. We all wish we had zigged when we zagged at some point in our lives. We learn to adjust and move forward. That is a skill that will serve your children for many years to come.
Give yourself a reprieve from having to be perfect. Slow down and take time to make wise choices, and be okay with some of them not being as wonderful as you thought. If you would like assistance in this or another area of your parenting, feel free to contact me directly. I offer a free 15-minute telephone consultation. It would be my pleasure to assist you and your family.
Traci Williams is the Founder of A Loving Way to Parent. She is known for her practical and intuitive parenting style. To schedule an appointment, simply call 951-240-1407 or send an email.