Every morning, I pull into the parking lot at our preschool, take a deep breath, put on a smile and hop out of my truck.
I wave at the other parents and inconspicuously take notice about how they act with their kids. Everyone has their ‘happy hats’ on and it feels like we’re shooting a commercial.
I unbuckle Mason, pull him into my side and Ava and Charlie hop down to the sidewalk, as I hoist backpacks onto their little shoulders. We all hold hands, laugh and maybe even pick a dandelion or admire an earthworm on our way into the school lobby. All of the parents and kids congregate here, until 9:15am, when we walk them down the hall to their classrooms.
We make small talk and ask each other ‘How are you?’ and ‘How’s your morning going?’ and the answer is almost always the same. ‘I’m great’ OR ‘Super, isn’t is beautiful outside?’ are the go-to responses that I use.
No one wants to let their guard down, no one wants to come across as vulnerable.
I’m not pointing fingers, because I do the same thing.
I don’t want anyone to know that just 25 minutes earlier, I’d completely lost my shit, screaming at the top of my lungs as Ava and Charlie had a ‘hair pulling battle royale’ and used Legos like brass knuckles to punch each other. I felt that no one needed to know that I couldn’t chase down the Boston Terrier to put him in his house and that Mason stumbled around the corner with a mouthful of dog food.
I didn’t want anyone to criticize me.
Do any of these smiling parents in the lobby of my kids school act like me sometimes?
Do they occasionally get so overwhelmed that they walk onto the front porch alone, counting to ten, silently, while doing improvised breathing exercises?
Do they sometimes (like me) act like Jodie Foster and treat their bathroom like a panic room and curl up on the floor in the fetal position, barricading the door with their bodies?
I don’t know about you, but I really TRY and do my best as a parent. I want to, I have to, for the sake of my kids. I guess at the end of the day, I just hope that the GOOD I’ve done with them significantly outweighs the BAD…and I truly think it does.
If I’m yelling, it’s because I care, plus, you were trying to pull the slacks off an old lady at the flea market. If I grab your arm and mildly jerk you back into me, it’s because I care – and also I didn’t want you touching a public toilet seat rim. I think my kids understand that.
And please – don’t get me wrong, I’m probably too hard on myself.
I love hugging my kids, giving them positive reinforcement, complimenting their achievements and giving that kiss on the forehead as they go off to school.
Whether you stay at home or go to work, I think that parenting is one of the toughest gigs out there.
Some people may laugh and disagree – they may assume that me staying at home with my kids all day is a cakewalk and that I should just stop my bitching and that’s fine, I know the truth.
The reality is that, parenting, on either end of the spectrum is a job that never ends.
When all three of my kids are asleep late at night and I lie awake staring at the ceiling fan counting it’s rotations, I question myself.
I wonder if I’m doing a good job.
There’s no parenting report card, there’s no 6-month evaluation with your boss and your husband, wife or partner may not feel the need to give you positive feedback, because you’re just doing what you’re supposed to be doing – you shouldn’t need a pat on the back.
Some of our kids are either too young to talk or too old to want to communicate what we’re doing right or wrong – so we’re left to follow our gut, our instinct.
We’re all extremely critical of one another and I’m guilty of it, too.
We’re constantly judging, making assumptions based on only seeing part of a situation. We cut each other down and scold one another on Facebook for not having the chest-clip up high enough on our car seat or comment on how it’s inappropriate that a 5-year old needs a binky to fall asleep. Everyone is an expert.
Maybe it’s time for a change.
Maybe it’ll only last a day, a week or a month, but let’s give it a shot.
Let’s take a minute and consider complimenting one another on what we’re #doingood – Let’s give another parent that well-deserved pat on the back and let them know that they’re doing an amazing job as mom or dad.
I’m hoping that you share this post with a parent in your life that you admire.
Send it to your brother, sister, family member or friend. Send them an unexpected note and let them know that you care, you notice their love and devotion and applaud them.
I’m hoping that you’ll comment on this post – tell me a short story about someone close to you, a parent, that’s #doingood and why.
Next week, I’ll randomly pick the one and give you a $250 VISA gift card.
Thanks to Minute Maid and Coca-Cola for caring enough to sponsor this post.
Thomas Murphy says
My brother is #doingood because he is always there for his kids no matter what.
My Sister is #doingood because she can juggle a million things at once and still be good at it all as a parent. As a mom; she volunteers, works outside the home, goes to school, and is a trainer helping others to live more healthy. She takes on the world with full force, even when she is tired she finds the will power. She’s a great mom, who’s love pours over onto everyone’s life in a positive way, and I literally never leave her presence without a huge smile on my face & in my heart, as I see In her kids as well. Our own mom wasn’t really around when we where kids, so I think my moms absence gave her a mothering nature right from the start. My sister is truly awesome and deserves to be celebrated everyday for being a fantastic mom.
My friend Donna is an ICU nurse and mom of twin toddlers and I think she’s doing an incredible job.
My wife is an amazing mother to our boys. She has her doubts, but I know what they say when she is in a meeting in the evening or solving a pressing problem at her work. They miss her and hope her well and, well, feel her absence. That’s good parenting. Also, make sure this is available for you to re-read as you need it, ’cause you’re doin’ pretty good yourself.
My brother, Paul, is an amazing father to my niece and nephew. My brother met his wife and her two children and fell in love and since then he has become a pillar in their lives. Even when he didn’t have to, he took them on as his own children. He supports them in their athletic endeavors, academic struggles and every day life. I am proud to call him my brother because he’s grown into a wonderful husband and father.
I’m not sure if I should write this about myself but here go. I have a 4 year old, 2 and a half year old and a 3 month old. My husband took a really great job out of state 2.5 months ago. I have been both trying to hold down the fort and keep everyone happy entirely on my own. HOLY SHIT!!!
At first I wasn’t sure I could do it. I was hormonal from just giving birth and I felt like a huge failure of a mom. I wasn’t sleeping, I felt depressed and just completely overwhelmed. I tried so hard to do it all and usually ran myself ragged.
Flash forward two months and life is totally different. I some confidence that I don’t completely suck. I’m feeling strong and brave, I have fewer ‘Holy shit, I can’t do this’ moments and way more ‘ Holy shit, I’m doing it! I did it!!!’ moments. This little journey has made me realize that I’m kinda related to Wonder Woman and to just be. I still have days where I pick myself apart and beat myself up..shit I forgot to put a clean shirt on Otis, Archie just took a nature poop on our doormat and Henrietta..Wait..where is the baby…ahh. But right when I think the worst one of my sweet, beautiful kids will run up to me just for a snuggle or a kiss and say how much they love me. Those moments are when I know I must be doing something right…I hope.
AngelaLewis1 That’s awesome to hear. I raised 6 kids, and the older two were two years apart, and the younger four were close in age also. I felt the same way you did, but we just have to do what it takes to get the job done. Sometimes the house might be a disaster during the day and that would be the day that someone would stop by…well, cleaning can wait til they are in bed. You can’t always doing it all unless you are wonder woman. Its what you do and how you do thing with the kids that count. We pick up toys all day long just to be torn back out. Dishes when trying to do them my 2 year old grandson thinks he has to help. So sometimes things don’t always get done right away, but the time you spend with your children is priceless.
InkedUpDad Like we have always said….It’s not who has you, it’s who raises you. I have seen many step parents be mean to their stepchildren, but then others treat them liek they are their own. When you love someone, it doesn’t matter and those children will be yours in every aspect. This will also teach them to treat others the same and if they ever become a step parent, they will know how they should treat those children because they were treated in the same way.
What I like best about my struggles with parenting (yes, I meant to say “like”) is the camaraderie and fellowship that parents develop between each other. I like the way we pool our resources and help each other out. I see my husband #doingood when, at the end of a princess dress up birthday party for twin three year old girls (who spent most of the time naked, by the way) he offered to rock their 14 month old sister to sleep because her mom had tried and failed for an hour to get her to bed. I see my neighbor #doingood by mowing our lawn for us without asking after our second was born. I see my mother #doingood because she comes over after work every Thursday to help my husband put the kids to bed so I can go to my 12 step program. Finally, I see myself #doingood when—at the end of a rough day with my toddler and I’ve had to put her in “quiet bedroom time” umpteen times and she won’t stop throwing tantrums like she’s possessed by demons because I told her she can’t play outside wearing nothing but her cowboy boots and I’m questioning if this gentle parenting stuff is really working—my daughter says to me unsolicited, “Mommy, I’m so happy.”
Thank you to all my friends and family who are supporting my family on our journey.
My Sister Is A Single Parent Of 2, She Works Very Hard To Provide For Her Children. She Is Doing Good! She Is A Wonderful Mother!
My sister is #doingood and needs to know that she is a great and dedicated parent. She applied and got accepted into a full-time nursing student program this January and is working on getting a degree so she can starting a new career. She was a great mother to my niece already but she is now really stretching her boundaries to become fulfilled personally and professionally. It is a difficult balance to strike as a mom and a student but she is handling it with much grace and aplomb. To all parents out there who are struggling to balance parenthood and career, she is a great role model.
My sister is #doingood, especially this past two years. Her husband got hurt at work and she went from being a Stay at Home Mom for 18 years to finding work and then working 2 jobs everyday to make ends meet for her family. She was stressed and worried but you wouldn’t have known it because she always made sure to have a smile on her face for her kids so they didn’t worry. I am very proud of how well she did.
My mom is #doinggood., Not only does she works full time from home as a graphic designer, she manages the household, takes care of the family – including my 15 yo autistic brother, me and my 1 year old daughter. I know I could never have finished high school and started college without her love, understanding and support. I don’t know how she manages to do it all and keep her sanity. She is an incredible giving person and I can only hope I become half the woman she is.
Miss https://www.facebook.com/marcie.pacheco?hc_location=ufi I watched this and thought of you. Through the years I have watched you struggle. Seen you rise like a beautiful Phoenix from the ashes, through all this you have remained fiercely and passionately in love with Marianna. You are a beautiful single Mommie who ishttps://www.facebook.com/hashtag/doinggood?hc_location=ufi. I love you and I’m so proud of you.
My wife is the breadwinner and she often, even though she might not always admit it, feels like she is failing our daughters because she’s not always around when they come home from school and something terrible happened. She’s not always there for family dinner. But she’s a terrific mom in so many ways and her girls are growing up with a shining example of a strong, confident, kind and intelligent woman.
My mom is #doinggood. She raised me and my two sissies alone, for herself through college and gave us everything we needed. She is amazing, and I seriously could nor ask for a better example of a mom and for someone to be an example to my kids even now when there is so much going on in her life, she drives 2 and 1/2 hours one way to help me with my babies. She is the best mom in the world.
My best friend since high school is #doingood because she is always there for her two kids. She is an amazing mom but sometimes doubts herself as a mom.
emily kathryn says
My husband. He gets compliments through me from strangers that don’t know who I am. 🙂 That’s pretty darn great!
My wife is #doinggood! We have 2 kids but I am sure she sometimes feels like she is taking care of 3. We put on the same smiles as you when we are out in public but are fuming underneath when the kids are being difficult. It is usually hard to hide those emotions but when kids are involved I think parents develop that skill.
We each have our on goals to always be good parent to our children. Parenting is tough and is not an easy job, you need to experiment which parenting methods works best to your children. Because according to “”UKessays review” http://essayguard.com/services/ukessays, each children are unique and has their own set of attitude which you need to match with your parenting skills.