I know that I don't usually post my personal thoughts on here but I feel that this is important. It's been on my mind a lot lately and I feel that I should share it. Who knows maybe someone will benefit from it.
Lately I've been feeling like I'm a horrible parent. It starts somewhere between the late dinner, the messy everything and the tired screaming. It usually ends somewhere near exasperation and wanting to cry in a corner somewhere. I know that part of this has been postpartum depression and now that I'm through that things are getting better. But during the last two months I've come to a conclusion.
We need to encourage parents not tell them how to be better (read "super") parents.
I feel bombarded by how other people feel I should do things. Like if I don't do things exactly how someone else does my kids will turn out to be horrible people that will, in the end, cause the destruction of civilization. I feel like I end up with a list of tasks often conflicting and always seemingly impossible. Then I'm a horrible parent because we had dinner too late and Hyrum didn't get a story before going to bed at 11 pm.
Then this happened. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blackberry/p.html?id=3209305
It says exactly what I have been feeling recently, that we need to encourage parents instead of telling them what to do to better their parenting. We need to offer our services to parents instead of unsolicited, and often unwanted, advice. Show a mom more compassion when she is at her wits end instead of telling her that she's exhausted because she's doing it wrong.
I'm not a perfect parent and I doubt, seriously I might add, that I ever will be.
I let Hyrum eat sugar.
My kids go to bed late.
They make noise in church.
My house is rarely "clean".
I could keep going.
No one can do it all and we should help them realize that. Thankfully I have a husband who is good at reminding me of that when I get too discouraged. Try to be that person for someone else. Let them know that it's okay to eat dinner at 8 pm once in a while. That diaper rash happens and is not a cause for a public scolding. Assure them that there will be days when they won't be the best parent but that it won't ruin their kids chance for happiness or success.