Have you heard of Facebook? If you haven’t, then you are in an elite class of human. Facebook is a place to announce your plans for the day, share pictures of your kids (pets, recent meals, feet propped up in various locations) and, most importantly, share blog posts about how you can be a better parent (spouse, employer, employee, pet owner.) These posts are rarely written by experts, so I naturally decided to add my voice to the noise.
Instead of telling you tips, I have decided to give you a pass and tell you ten ways that you are getting parenting right. Scoot the laundry off the sofa and plop down for a little bit of affirmation.
1. Your kids are sometimes bathed and rarely ever smell awful for company. Go you!
2. You have provided your kids with a pet. Experts say that pets… whatever. You got a pet and the kids seem to like it. Can’t argue with results.
3. You refused to get your kids a pet because you don’t need the hassle. You know your limits and that makes you a model parent.
4. There is food provided and they have eaten enough to continue existing. People may dicker over details, but this blog gives you a gold star. Good job keeping them alive.
5. There are clothes in your home and your kids wear them. Left all by themselves, they’d run around like naked heathens, but you put a stop to that nonsense with your keen parenting.
6. Your kid was/will be potty trained before kindergarten. It’s possible to over plan these things, but you made it. Congratulations on those diaperless bottoms.
7. You make them go to bed. Bed times vary, but you’re no dummy and you make them sleep.
8. Your kid refuses to sleep and you have not killed your child. Let me be among the crowd that offers you a standing ovation. Those six mind numbing hours that you spent staring at Facebook today are not on your permanent record. You were up all night and your kid still lives. You get a pass.
9. That one thing that your kid wanted so badly, whatever it was, and you made it happen? That puts you on the good parenting team. Like food, people will argue and post all kinds of things on Facebook about how, when, and why good parents buy their kids certain items, but this blog is going to swipe all that off the table and just say, “Good for you. Your kid wanted it and you made it happen.”
10. You worry often that you are doing a terrible job. Horrible parents do not worry that they are doing a terrible job. Part of the reason they are so awful is because they don’t second guess any of their awful choices. You worry, you second guess, you lay awake at night feeling certain you have blown it: all good signs that you are getting parenting right.