A few weeks ago I was chatting on the phone with my dad. "You both are doing such a great job with the boys," Dad said ha...

Love is Enough


A few weeks ago I was chatting on the phone with my dad.

"You both are doing such a great job with the boys," Dad said happily.

"Brian is, not sure about me. Most of the time I feel like I'm a bitch to them. I don't have Brian's patience, ya know," I admitted.

"No you're not. You're doing a great job and I'll tell you why. You love them. Some days that's all I did right with you girls, was love you," Dad said.

Wow! I've said more than once that I might write a book of all the (mostly crazy) things my dad says, but that one tops them all, and not for being crazy. It really hit home and reminded me of the most important thing you do as a parent: loving your children.

In today's world, (or maybe it's always been this way), parenting has been turned into some twisted competition. Let's see who can do everything for their children and have them turn out perfect! Give me a break. NOBODY! That's who. Parenting shouldn't be treated as a contest to see who can do it the best. Some of the shittiest parents in the world end up with amazing children, and vice versa. Parents love to take all the credit for their children's accomplishments but also all of the blame for their failures. You know what I think? What we do as parents matters, it does. But it's not everything. Our children are their own, unique human beings with free will and the ability to use it! Every mistake we make as parents will not necessarily ruin them as people. They're here for their own reasons, their own journey, and they make their own choices, even as children, that shape who they are and who they will be someday. That's something we parents need to keep in mind when we want to blame ourselves for every little mistake they make or take credit for all the awesome things they do. Some of those things may be our doing, but many are not.

Sometimes we feel like a shitty parent for nagging too much, missing a school event or milestone because we had to work, or missing dinner because we stole an hour to ourselves to go to yoga. All things that currently make me feel like an imperfect mother. But when I'm feeling less somehow, if I remember to flip that around I instantly feel better. I do all those things because I love them with all of my being. I nag because I want them to learn what I'm trying to teach them! I work because I want to feed them healthy food and give them a safe place to live. And I steal time for myself because I want them to have a sane and happy mother. I love them and put them first in everything I do, even when it might look like I'm doing something selfish or being a bitch. Don't get me wrong, I'm still working hard on getting them to listen without being a bitch, but it would be nice to feel less guilt during the learning process.

The other thing this reminded me of is the importance of love over everything else. New toys, the latest technology, glamorous vacations, and expensive higher education... parents feel like this is all our responsibility and we worry if our kids don't have the best of everything. But I can think of so many other things that are much more important. Spending time with them. Teaching them what's really important in life. Letting them be a real part of your life, and not something you're always too busy for. If you love your children, really love them, and take the time to show them that, that is worth more than anything you could ever buy them.

So some days, loving your children is all you do right. But that's ok, because it is definitely the most important thing you will ever do as a parent.

2 comments:

  1. Sooo soo true. We need time to ourselves to be good parents and keep us sane. We need to nag to help teach them and we need to keep at it. I love your dads saying. I need to remember that when my patience is lost and that happens a lot with mobile 18 month olds.

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    Replies
    1. Yes the hard part is remembering it!

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