Choices. As a parent you are always making choices. Sometimes your brain is dizzy with all the things you need to decide. You want what is best for your kids and many times it is hard to measure the results. You make a choice. You hope and pray it was the right one. You wait. You breathe a sigh of relief when you find you did the right thing. You feel ill when you find you did the wrong thing. Sometimes you wait years to see if it was the right choice. Sometimes you will never know.
You have information thrown at you from all directions. It is as though everyone knows how to be the perfect parent. Well, until it is your own child that you are parenting. Because, once you look your child in the eye and feel the overwhelming love, you just know there is too much at stake to even try to pretend you know what to do all the time. Once you see your child struggle or mess up, you know there is no cookie cutter way to parent your imperfect and unique child…
How do you ease your weary mind and embrace the joy of parenting? The answer is a little different for everyone. Again, there is no cookie cutter way.
I feel like I do a decent job (most days) at enjoying this sometimes arduous journey. Here are some tips I have picked up along the way:
- If it isn’t broke, simply leave it alone. If something works for you and your family then screw what everyone else thinks.
- Do listen to advice, though. Some people know more than you. But don’t forget, it is your choice on what advice you follow.
- If you don’t follow someone’s advice, don’t feel guilty. Seriously, don’t. You know your child the best. You also know your own limits. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.
- Honor your limits. Honor your spouse’s limits. Honor your kids limits. Enough said.
- Don’t judge other parents. You are not in their shoes. You do not know their child as they do.
- Don’t compare and don’t ever compete. No one enjoys being around those who try to compete or get their kids involved in such nonsense.
- Allow your child to be who they are, not who you think they should be. This may be hard, but, your kids know themselves better than you know them. (I have to thank my parents for doing a great job at this one.)
- Forget the rules sometimes. Just have fun. Sing loud, dance, and get a little goofy with them.
- Love them. Figure out how they feel loved. Give it to them unconditionally.
- Let them love you. Accept the way they show love and appreciate it.
- Most importantly, trust God and His will for your kids. God’s got this, guys. He really does.
Feel free to share any tips I may have missed.