When the idea for this blog originally popped into my brain- I had fully intended on ACTUALLY making a list… Okay, that’s a lie. I never intended on making a list of the 15 reasons why you’re not a bad parent. Nope, not once.
Now, before you get pissed and swear to hunt me down and stick a spork in my ass- let me explain. It’s the least I can do for luring you here under false pretenses.
Throughout the year, time and time again, there are these blogs that go viral. Everyone and their mother and their weird aunt Sally (sorry to anyone named Sally who reads this, it just felt right to type) latches on to it and shares it and suddenly it’s ALL you see anywhere you go. Then you read it, and perhaps you feel the need to share it too- because it touches something inside of you that makes you think “I feel better now… I bet this will make others feel better too.” It’s a sweet thought, to want to make others day a little bit brighter by sharing with them something that did the same for you- and the internet makes that all the more easy.
These blogs, or articles- whatever you want to call them- are lists. We all love a good list. It’s short, it’s sweet, it’s to the point. There’s that one that blew the hell up about people having a worse day than you that made you feel like your shitty day wasn’t all that shitty after all. There was the one about stories from throughout the year that prove there is still good left in this world- which came at just the right horrible time in our history and helped us not to lose hope in humanity. There are even lists of the top fails, the top videos, the top funny photos. There’s a list for just about everything out there. Pop into Google “The Top 15 reasons” and hit enter- even worse, try “Top 10”- enjoy the rest of your week!
Hell, even I have about a dozen blogs that are made up of lists of random things.
Why? I figure it’s because there is something in each one of those lists that appeals to every one of us. There’s something in us that is always seeking out ways to feel better about the world, or our lives, or any dark crevice of humanity that otherwise just doesn’t make sense. As humans, we want to see the good in people. We want to live life to the fullest and be HAPPY- and fill our lives with love and laughter. The mundane ins and outs of every day life and especially the 5 o’clock news can really bog all of that down- and these lists that shine a little light on exactly what we’re feeling (even if we didn’t know it) make us FEEL good. And who doesn’t want to feel good?
So then we come to this blog. Why on earth would I title it “The 15 Reasons why you’re NOT a Bad Parent”– and not follow through with a list of those reasons?
The reason is pretty simple- and it’s not because I’m an evil horrible person who wanted to bring you here and let you down. It’s because you don’t need me to tell you why you’re not a bad parent. You might think you do, but you don’t.
YOU ARE A GOOD MOTHER. YOU ARE A GOOD FATHER.
You are. And you need to know that, from yourself- not from me. Not from some stupid list on the internet that cherry picks some news stories that shows you how terrible everyone else is, and since you are not even close to that terrible- POOF, you suddenly realize you aren’t so bad after all.
Being a parent is NOT an easy job, and that’s putting it mildly. Every day we face choices, some of which if we choose the “wrong” choice can have some pretty ugly consequences- from a diaper blowout to mass amounts of spitup to a temper tantrum or even the dreaded (in the fairer sex’s case) Mommy Guilt. Every day there are questions over whether or not you’re doing the right thing, raising your child the right way, if what you’re doing is really the “best”- what is RIGHT? What is the “best”, anyway?
I know what it’s like on the bad days, or the days where you say to yourself “I’m definitely not winning the Parent of the Year award after THAT”– to seek validation. SOMEONE to tell you that you’re doing the right thing, that you’re not a total fuck-up and your kids aren’t going to grow up to hate you or be monsters or any other of the gazillion worries we have throughout the course of every week- sometimes even every day. All that wondering and worrying can lead to panic and anxiety and it’s natural to seek someone else to confirm because otherwise, you’re left out in the open- alone.
It took me a VERY long time, and even some very ugly situations where my validation seeking resulted in disagreements and strangers calling me a “terrible parent”- and then watching as life proved them all wrong to really understand that what I needed more than validation- more than another person telling me I was right- more than a list on the internet to make me feel better about myself- was for ME to believe in myself.
I had to accept that as a parent, the caretaker for two little boys (and it did take me 2 to figure it out)- there were and are going to be days where I was going to get everything wrong. I was going to make mistakes. My kids were going to misbehave and be downright horrendous to me. I had to be okay with fucking up- A LOT- and with trusting my gut to make decisions for my children that others might not agree with but it didn’t matter- because they are MY kids, and I love them with my whole heart and therefore know I will always do what I think and feel is the best for them… even if that turns out to be wrong- it came from a place of love.
You don’t need me, or a list- you need YOU. And to really truly believe in you. I know it’s hard- and some days it doesn’t even seem possible- but as long as you have love for your children and trust in your own abilities- you won’t ever be a “bad parent”– even on the really bad days.
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