We all start out with a picture of what we think family should look like. Then we actually have a family. And we discover it’s not exactly like we thought it would be.
Parenting is complicated. You constantly feel like a rookie playing in the World Series and the stakes are immeasurably high. Once you think you have it figured out, the game changes. But there are no do-overs, no first pancakes. You get only one shot at each child, and you don’t want to mess up.
That’s a lot of pressure. Maybe this job should have come with a ten-page application, references needed. Or at least an instruction manual. But there really is no book on how to do this. No ONE perfect way . . .
You will make mistakes as a parent. You might . . .bribe, bargain and threaten just to get in the car faster. forget that it’s Pajama day at school. order them oddly-shaped nuggets from the drive-through a few too many times. let them hold onto their pacifiers, bottles, and Wubbies a teensy bit longer than they should.
But that’s okay! It really is. Embrace the imperfection by saying out loud, “My child will not be perfect and neither will I! And that’s okay!”
It’s okay because you’re not in this for an Instagrammable life. So, back to the question, what have you gotten yourself into?
A RELATIONSHIP. Your relationship with your child is more important than getting everything right. So, loosen up a little. Be easier on yourself. Let go of whatever image you’re trying to protect.
Maybe you should stress less and play more, cuddle more, laugh more. . . .Just remember: Kids get messy. And so does family. Kids don’t need perfect parents to turn out great. What they do need is for you to invest in your relationship with them above all else.
This is going to take some time. Years, in fact. But time is on your side right now. And the good news is that you haven’t made any many mistakes yet. This will be the only time as a parent you will be able to say this, so celebrate this moment.
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