Sometimes, my mom skills are not exactly on point. There are many, many days and long, long nights where my approach with my children is less consistent with what is outlined in parenting books and more consistent with a commando survival approach that is equal parts impatience, uncertainty and laziness….
I have relied on Happy Meals to avoid both cooking for them and emptying the dishwasher.
Netflix has prompted me with the “Do you want to continue watching?” because episodes of “Paw Patrol” have been playing continuously for so long (side note: I find Netflix can be super nosy and a bit judgmental. Know your role, Netflix).
I have told them in a raised voice that if they don’t go to bed, I am moving out. Then when that was completely ineffective, I offered $5 to the first child to fall asleep without talking again.
I have skipped entire pages when reading stories at bedtime to the point that my children may never understand that the basic narrative construct of most books includes a beginning, a middle and an end.
I breastfed each of my children but sometimes they had formula because I wanted an extra 15 minutes in the bath rather than 15 minutes of listening to that horrifying sucking sound as I milked myself with the breast pump before going out.
I have never used #blessed to describe a photo of my children on Instagram. I have used #doesanyoneelsewantthembecauseimightbedone.
There is a stash of lollipops, jelly beans and other high fructose corn syrup and food coloring based monstrosities in my purse so I can bribe them rather than “giving choices” or “describing consequences” in a “positive manner”.
I have been unhappy.
I have been impatient.
I have been ungrateful.
So, sometimes, by some standards, I might seem to be failing in the parenting department on multiple fronts.
But this week, this happened.
My five year old received her first ever report card in Kindergarten and the teacher’s general comment was:
Madden is a thoughtful and confident child. She always treats others with respect.
Reading that one little sentence was one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had as a parent.
Sure, I might kind of be sucking it as a mom some days, but it turns out that you don’t have to be great at it all the time to raise a really great kid. You just need to keep trying. Always, keep trying.
(Alternatively, I might actually be terrible at this but my husband is a fantastic parent and she has gained more from his influence than mine…#entirelypossible).