Many times, well-intentioned parents fixate too much on being perfect parents. It can be like they see an image in Pinterest or Facebook, and judge their life against this image.
There always seems to be something that needs to be done - and there is always going to be someone who can do more. Many times, as a parent, you are going to struggle with the idea that you aren't doing enough, and that there is much more you could be doing, if only you had the time.
Superparents seem to be everywhere. They can do it all – work and cook and take care of their children and be fitness models, and they never seem to need or want anything at all.
However, these people aren't really real, and what they are doing might not be the best way to go. The best way for you to be a parent is to simply be the best parent you can be. Only judge yourself by your own criteria – not others. Remember that images are not reality, and that others may idolize your parenting life (as broken as you think it may be).
The first thing that you have to remember as you are dealing with the superparent syndrome is that you are going to run into a lot of barriers. You want to be sure that you are able to take care of your children, first and foremost. Focus on doing your best, and use tools that work for you (calendars, classes, books, downtime) to stay strong.
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What a lot of parents don't realize is that the most important part of being a good parent is not making sure that they get home baked cookies, get to their soccer games on time, and also get everything in the world that they could possibly want. You are going to make mistakes and may have to ask for forgiveness. When that happens, your children will actually be closer to you. It will demonstrate to them how to handle their mistakes in life too. You’ll also find that people can relate to you more, because they are also imperfect.
Take a moment and reflect on what were some of the best times you had growing up – what moments with your parents, teachers or others were really special to you and lasting. Think about what made those moments up. Was it someone who helped you out? Was it achieving a big goal? Was it laughing about a family joke?
Those memories stick with us, and are defined by love, devotion and honesty. They aren’t defined by looking great in social media posts or bragging about achievements.
As hard as this can be for us, doing more for our kids can backfire to the point we are all exhausted and empty. Think of 3-5 simple things you can do with your kids this week. This can be a walk, playing a favorite game, drawing together, playing a board game – simple stuff like this. Do your best to be in the moment during these – no devices, just time with family.
Be kind to yourself and remember everyone is doing their best in the moment. Parenting is not a competition with others.
You’ve got this.
Chris has worked in tech for 30 years, and healthcare tech for 8 of those. He's on the advisory board of Harvard-Based Think:Kids, and runs Rad Dad Rules. He is the proud Dad of two awesome kids, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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