All of us have that guilty feeling from time to time and yet it’s the most wasted emotion of all. We can’t take back words or actions, no matter how hard we try.
The not so perfect parent
If you are a parent, guilt seems to be present even more. This useless feeling is a universal experience.
Why does the “guilt trip” seem to be an expanding issue?
I believe the answer to to be a few things:
(1) more and more women are working and becoming the main bread winner.
(2) single-parenting is on the rise, and
(3) There are so many books written on how to be a perfect parent.
The first two things I mentioned will sometimes keep you from spending time with your kids. Having spent a lot of time working myself and not seeing my kids, I’ve always believed in quality, not quantity.
How to be a good parent
It always makes me quiver when I see headlines that say “how to be a perfect parent” or “how to raise the perfect child”. Don’t get me wrong here, there are some really fantastic books and articles that have been written about child-rearing. I’ve read a few too! I’m sure they are helpful to some people.
The point I’m trying to make is; there just seems to be a lot of pressure to be a “good parent.” We certainly should all strive to be the best parent we can be. But also, remember that you have your own instinct that tells you what’s best for you and your child. Just because it works for Andy doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for Leanne. If in doubt, follow your heart!
Define a “good” parent…? Someone who loves their child unconditionally? or the parent who works tirelessly to provide for their family? or the parent who hasn’t got much at all, but does his or her best to raise their child as best they can? I don’t care what people say, there is no definition of a “good parent”.
Worried about being perfect?
Guess What? When you are not perfect, you are letting your kid know that you are human. No one is infallible.
If you’re worried about being the perfect parent. Think about the person who brought you up? Were they perfect? Do you still love them now?
Children can tell if they are loved. They don’t measure it by how many hours are spent with them or if you were a little tired one day and lost your chill. It’s definitely not measured by how much money you can spend on them. One of my biggest bugbears is seeing kids being showered with materialistic items in the hope the parent will receive something back. You won’t.
Your child knows your not perfect
Believe it or not. Your kid already knows that you’re not perfect. They also know how much you love them, and sometimes use that to their advantage. You can’t fool a child. They are the most honest people on this planet. Remember when the whole family was round and they made that really embarrassing comment about Aunty Ethel?? Believe me, they are honest and brutal and will forgive your mistakes. So forgive yourself. No one has ever been a perfect parent…ever.
So, chill out. Some day your child will be telling a story…”remember when Mam/Dad did……….”