Parenting: How Do You Know if You’re Doing it Right?
If you read this post, or even this post then it’s no secret that my household has been struggling. Last week I was asking myself what level of hell I was on, crying on the way home from work, and being a royal bitch to my husband because there’s really no better outlet than him – even if I know it’s not right, and unfair. Bless that tall red-headed man of mine! Over the course of 9 days I went to bed questioning my ability to parent my kids the best way I could. Am I doing it right? Am I going to screw them up forever? Will ‘A’ remember the time I snapped at her at bed time for stalling in 20 years? There is no way of knowing and the unknown can be scary!
But hey! We made it! The storm has passed and we were able to enjoy a well-deserved, family weekend together. We went to a city Halloween event where the kids were able to wear their insanely cute costumes, and of course they got candy (that we didn’t need), we had a delicious dinner at the new Chipotle in town – shout out to my best friend, Maria for allowing me to have a meal from start to finish while she wrangled my little hulk baby, H. Following dinner we had ice cream, and then ‘A’ and I finished off the night with the one and only, Ghostbusters 2 movie. It felt great to watch my kids laugh with their friends and just enjoy themselves.
So, how do you know when your parenting is effective, ongoing, and consistent in your kids’ lives? I guess the answer to that would depend on how you perceive parental rewards through your kids. Is it good grades? Best dressed? Most clean at the end of the day? Or, is it simply that your kid isn’t a complete jerk 99% of the time? Measuring my paternal value has been the last thing on my mind. Mostly due to denial and avoidance. Keeping everyone alive and not pulling out my hair was my priority last week and the fact that we all survived was reward enough in that moment.
Then, in the middle of nowhere, life happened. My value as a mom reappeared. My worth received the boost that it needed. I was a witness to something beautiful… something only a struggling parent could pinpoint in the middle of a hurricane and hold on to for dear life.
As we went door-to-door for trick or treating in our neighborhood, I finally got ‘H’ to get out of his little push car that he was completely content in and go up to a door with his sister.
I watched ‘A’ take him by the hand, patiently walk with him up the steep driveway only to arrive at the porch with a really big step. She took his bucket out of his hand and set it down then proceeded to lift this huge 15 month old boy over the step. She handed him his bucket and rang the doorbell. They got their candy, I heard ‘A’ tell the people thank you and then I watched her help her brother through the entire process again. As they made their way down the driveway I heard her tell her brother “good job ‘H,’ you got the good candy this time.”