Random Tidbit: Dieting leaves me hungry.
Since I have been a parenting, I have looked for reasons to excuse my mistakes. I know we all do it. Sometimes my mistakes were small, other mistakes are still being paid for today.
Other mistakes I learned from and moved on. And still other mistakes have turned into bad habits. For example, letting my children play video games for two hours instead of just one so I can read ‘just one more’ chapter of my current book.
I believe I have asked forgiveness from my children when I have needed to. My kids know all about forgiveness and grace thanks to the many opportunities I have needed to ask them to extend these gifts to me. And I have extended these wonderful gifts to them.
I have tried to forgive myself, but we all know that can be difficult to do. Forgive one’s own self.
The new year is here. A time of reflection. For me, that has meant going over the last twelve months and reliving some of the highlights on my parenting bloopers reel. Just when I was feeling particularly low and like I should just give up on ever understanding my kids or if I had imparted any other life skills to them beyond the lessons of grace and forgiveness, I saw this little article come across Twitter. It is written by Dr. Harley A. Rotbart and it’s from his website blog. I thought I would share them with you. I have amended them slightly for us so they don’t add to much to the word count and are easier to remember.
- Missing an occasional soccer game, dance rehearsal, karate match, or piano recital (no matter how hard you try to be at every one).
- Missing a PTA meeting or two, or failing to volunteer for the big school fund-raiser.
- Coming up short of a culinary masterpiece for dinner some nights (or maybe most nights!).
- Feeding your kids Pop-Tarts for breakfast in the car on the way to school on those rare chaotic mornings. (Rare?!)
- Allowing unavoidable work to occasionally interfere with family time.
- Letting some weekends slip away without accomplishing any of the planned family activities.
- Sneaking off to a far corner of the house to scream when your kids have pushed you to the limit.
- Caving in to your kids’ requests for more TV or video game time than you prefer, so you can have a little peace and quiet.
- Letting your mind wander to the dishes in the sink or the lawn that needs mowing when your kids are telling you the most important thing about their day.
- Catching yourself saying the same dreadful things to your kids that your parents said to you: “Because I said so” or “You’ll understand when you grow up.”
- Falling asleep before your kids during their bedtime story.
- Letting your kids out of the car in the school drop-off line before their hair is brushed (and is that the same shirt they wore yesterday?).
- Receiving a call from your child’s teacher telling you that your kid taped a classmate’s legs to the chair during arts and crafts.
- Doing more of your kids’ homework than you know you should, just to get it done and get them to bed.
- Believing that other parents are always doing a better job at everything than you are.
So this New Year, lose the guilt. Give yourself a break and be realistic about parenting; you’re doing a great job, most of the time. And, even when you wish you could do better, be wiser, and show more patience, that consciousness about your parenting proves your love and commitment to your kids. It is this love and commitment that will become your legacy as parents,
There you have it. Some absolution for a clean start.