I see you walking down the street, pushing a buggy, pulling your toddler on his scooter, carrying the food shop, rushing to drop off the kids at school, hurrying to get to work, on your way to pick up something for the kids from the chemist or running late to your baby’s checkup appointment.
You look tired, stress out, and I can almost hear the millions of thoughts that are going through your head:
Did I remember to pack the kids’ lunches?
I mustn’t be late for work.
What shall I make for dinner?
Did I remember to turn the oven on?
I should have put the clothes in the dryer, now they’re going to stink.
What time do I need to call the teacher to discuss my daughter’s reading?
Did I brush my teeth this morning?
What f*cking day is it?
We really need to walk the dog more.
I wish I didn’t yell this morning when my son was being a little sh*t.
Did the kids drink enough water yesterday? I really should remind them to do that.
I need to start planning my daughter’s birthday, it’s 5 months away but everyone else sends out ‘save the dates’ a year in advance, I’m such a failure!
I watch you and I can see myself – how I was not too long ago, and still am every now and then, and what I want to do is walk up to you and say – “you are amazing”.
We live in a mad culture that thrives on achievements, how much we’ve ‘done’, how fast we’ve done it and how ‘big’ it was. This doesn’t just apply to the workplace or in professional circles anymore, it’s leaked to other parts of our lives without us even noticing – parenting being one of them.
In today’s world, parents are judged not by how much they love their children, or by their intentions and the effort they put into raising their kids to THEIR best ability, but rather by results and external parameters that frankly don’t really matter.
Things like: how many after-school activities their kids are taking, how many soccer practices they’ve attended, how big was the birthday cake they made for their child’s birthday party and other type bullshit that just makes parents feel like crap when they can’t live up to the crazy high standard, that just seems to be getting higher and higher.
But when the lights are off and the kids are in bed, when you walk into their room and see their precious little faces, you know in your heart that all that fluff is just an illusion. You already know what makes you a good parent, and I bet my life it’s not ‘having it together’, or never being late, or having a tidy house, or attending all the school plays even if it kills you, or completely forgetting yourself because that’s what others think you should be doing.
You know what it is and YOU are the only one you should be listening to.
Now repeat after me – I AM AMAZING.
* Dedicated to all the parents who are kicking ass on a daily basis – slow down amazing people, you are already doing great.