You’re Doing Just Fine
by Julie Davidson
How many times do you obsess about not being the kind of parent you want to be? Twice a day? Maybe five times? More? You fret over whether you’re doing enough for the kids. Or are you doing too much?
I imagine you’re doing your best. And that has to count for something. Mistakes will be made. Perhaps even on daily basis. You gave them too much sugar. You didn’t kiss them good night. You threw away an art project. You fed them Pop Tarts for dinner—twice in one week. We all have a list.
Perhaps you need a baseline. Something to measure yourself against. Ever watch the Real Housewives series? I can almost assure you that you’re doing a good job at being a parent. Unless you flip tables at a family event. Or pull out hair weaves in public. Or drink booze like it’s water.
Second guessing is a natural part of life. It might even lead to growth, but at a certain point, you have to just know you’re doing your best.
Who doesn’t have a friend who can bake so well she could run a bakery from her kitchen? I have friends like that, and they swear their tasty treats are easy to make. I never fall for that. Somehow for me, even making cookies doesn’t go so well. The bottoms are burnt, and the tops are gooey. The cookies I make serve one purpose: to fill up the garbage can. Hint: If you’re baking challenged, buy the cookies that have the pre-made dough and the pre-cut cookies. This totally takes the guesswork out of whether or not you put a “pinch” of an ingredient in and if that was a “rounded” teaspoon you plunked down on the baking sheet. The kids won’t care how those cookies got there. They’ll just be happy they’re there at all.
Maybe you feel deficient when it comes to being crafty. It doesn’t help if you have a friend who has a closet or even an entire room dedicated to all things crafty. From glittery bows to cellophane wrap, she can make amazing creations. When I make things, you can’t tell what it is. Hint: If you can’t craft a thing head to the craft fairs. There’s a ton of home made goods; they’re just not made at your home.
Maybe you cringe when it’s your turn to host play group. All you can think of is the juice boxes, mini sandwiches, animal crackers, crayons, finger paints, and baby wipes you’ll need. You just know your house will become a two-story, unstructured daycare for two hours. Hint: When it’s your turn to host play group, head to a park. The kids will get tired and your house will be no more messy than it was when you left it.
I’m not saying we should cut corners all the time. Just whenever we can. It’s all in the name of saving time, money, and sanity. Remember: You could be table flipping, weave pulling, and booze drinking. You’re doing fine.