So we’re ending 2014, and while everyone will pass the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa (okay festive season), and then focus on whether or not to do a resolution, and then WHAT that resolution SHOULD be, and then figure out that they likely shouldn’t pick that same one AGAIN because they haven’t been successful in keeping it the last 4 times they tried…. let me tell you the 14 things you did right in 2014. Yes, you.
Whether you think you’re an attachment parent type, totally not into AP, or somewhere in between, I am talking to you. You don’t need a title other than “Mom” or “Dad” to do it right. And, even if you haven’t got your Christmas Cards out yet, or if you still have last year’s Christmas lights up, so you were the first to light them this year… There ARE plenty of things you do right.
14 Things You Did Right as a Parent in 2014
- You were there for your child. Whether they were born in 2014 and you used nurturing touch, or your child is grown and you encouraged active listening, you were there.
- There were power struggles, and you tried, and you thought, and you did the best you could. Your child learned, but you didn’t create a powerless environment for your child. You may have gave choices, and sure you lost your cool once (or twice…), but it was a learning process and you admit it to yourself and your children.
- You successfully hid the food-like item that you didn’t let the kids pick from the store, but you craved it anyway… We can’t always be at our best, and honestly, we all can’t get it right all the time.
- You went above and beyond for a child who wasn’t yours, likely more than once. When you’re a parent, you can’t necessarily look past the needs of children you are “required” to help.
- Those nights, oh those many nights. When you wanted sleep, but either a child needed to nurse, diaper changes, bottles warmed and cleaned, teenagers needed reassurance… you were there. Even if you faced some of it with a need for a pedicure or a glass of wine, you did it.
- You took time for yourself, even if you did feel guilty, because balance is important.
- Afterward, you came back refreshed and able to tackle the laundry while trying to translate your toddler’s latest new “words” while they skype with family members. At least you hope they’re family members, better check that Skype contact list!
- When your local school cut recess, you problem solved. You took your children out to play more, or maybe you petitioned to keep kids active in school so they COULD study better.
- Perhaps, in the end you chose another educational model, but you did what you felt was best and raised your voice. Because sometimes, raising your voice as a parent IS a good thing.
- When your friend needed help, you were there. You showed compassion and your children saw what it means to be a real friend. No comparisons. No make up. No worry of an exchange for what you did. You were just there.
- Then, there came a time when you likely threw in the towel, stomped off, wondered how far the gas in your van would take you… but you came back, gave your kids a hug, wiped away the tears (yours and theirs perhaps) and you read them a bed time story.
- Then there was that song. I won’t mention the name, but you know it. That one. The one that was on repeat in the van. And the house. And the movie was played a few dozen too many times. And you learned to love it because really, if your child loves it that much, it at least deserves some accolades. After all, you could always sing the parody words in your head. Or out loud, if your child doesn’t cringe at the sound of your singing voice (like mine does!)
- You got lucky more than once and when you exhaled, you learned to appreciate those second chances. That appreciation is something you’ve been able to teach your children as well.
- Your kids are more than alive – they’re thriving because of YOU.
Everything we do is a lesson. We may not always do our best, and we often trip up and may need to have a re-set button, but when we are honest with ourselves, our kids know it.
Likely we didn’t always do all the above, but there’s always opportunity to try our best, do our best, research options, and get help. When we have support, parenting is so much easier.