Being a parent is the best thing I’ve ever done but it’s also the hardest. No matter what the age of your children whether babies, teenagers or even older your children will always need you and in a way you need them!
With your first child everything you do as parents will always be a ‘first’. No matter what books you can read on the subject I still find myself feeling like a parenting beginner from time to time. Right now my girls are a tween and a teen and sometimes when I do not know the answer to a question or how to react to a scenario I have to remind myself that despite 13 and a half years of parenting experience behind me I am a beginner as a parent of a teenager! I will sometimes say this to my daughters when I’m not sure of the answers they are looking for. We can have a giggle and work things out together.
Being a good parent can sometimes feel like hard work but I’ve come up with a few things that make me feel like I’m doing a good job!
Compliments about your children are the best! Whether it’s the teacher telling you how hard they try at school, a fellow parent remarking how polite they are or a stranger out and about commenting on the confidence and ease of conversation with your child. Accept these compliments as they belong in part to the great job you have been doing!
Children’s lives are packed full to the brim with school, clubs and sports. I encourage my girls to do as much as possible at home to help out with keeping the house clean and tidy. This is important to help them become self sufficient young adults. They need these life skills to venture out into the big wide world one day in the not so distant future. However, there will be tasks and jobs that I will help them out with when I have the time to do so. I know that they definitely appreciate the tasks I have done for them as a surprise. To come home to a folded pile of laundry, a freshly made bed or a homemade cupcake occasionally makes them feel loved. Because it’s not expected that I will do these tasks and that they are a genuine gesture they appreciate the help when it happens. Who doesn’t like to be treated every now and then? The days when someone else offers to cook dinner for me make me feel very loved! I feel very content when I’ve been able to help them out with little things in this way.
Dinner is served
To have dinner organised and planned each night will help you feel on top of your day. Having a meal ready to eat when you get in from the school run will help you to feel that you are on top of everything and not on the back foot! Life is busy and even more so once everyone gets home. Put your crockpot on and let that do the hard work for you!
Whatever the age of your child they need your attention and to spend time with you. I try to get all the jobs sorted that need to be done whilst they are not at home or whilst they are busy doing activities and clubs. For me this is doing the food shopping, making appointments, doing all the boring jobs so that once they are home my time is for them. I am lucky that I have a flexible schedule so I can do this whilst they’re busy at school freeing up my evenings for them once they’re home. Each evening I love sitting on my children’s beds listening to all their thoughts and feelings. This seems to be the time of day that they want to talk. Trying to extract myself from their rooms can be tricky!
This is very important. I have been both a working parent and a stay at home mom. Both lives are very busy but very different. All moms will fill their days to the last second no matter what your lifestyle. Being at work made me very focused to achieve both going to work and being a good parent. I stillhad to find me time and squeeze it into the day. Now I’m at home it is easier to find the time for me but I still need to protect that time otherwise it can easily be overshadowed by chores and lists of things to do! Going to my yoga classes, dog walks with my puppy, meeting up with friends for a coffee or even sitting down over lunch to watch a bit of television are all ways I find to do something for me.
Watching them flourish
To watch your child become an independent, competent and successful person is an achievement of the highest level. To see them accept your advice and opinions, make it their own and implement it. To see them learn from their mistakes and grow. This has to be the ultimate feel good factor for parents. We all started out wanting the little baby in our arms to nuture but babies grow so fast so our overall aim must be to produce people who will go out into the world to be happy, kind and generous. If you get those things all together in the right amounts mixed in with plenty of love that baby of yours will become a successful adult.
What makes you feel like a good parent? I’d love to hear from you.
Karen x x x