Naturally, I am a researcher. I often research methodically before taking any actions. I surfed the internet and read articles about parenting. I looked at schedules, downloaded routines about potty training and examined activities to enhance our parenting techniques. I devoured DIY exercises and perused scholastic achievement resources. My head spun but I felt empowered with all the information. I sought out to implement them in our daily lives.
“Maybe these things would make us feel like we are successfully mastering parenthood”, I thought. However, who was I kidding? I couldn’t help but have a barrage of questions ruminating inside. Are my toddlers happy? Are they loved? Are they protected? Are they nurtured? Do we have fun? Are they healthy? Are they thriving? Yes, I answered silently. I felt the anxiety slowly dissipating. Still, there was a remnant of uncertainty lurking around.
Parenthood is messy, fun, and unique. It is filled with joy, disappointment, frustration and tenderness. It can be eventful, complicated and amazing.
So why are we limiting ourselves? Why are we comparing ourselves with other parents’ actions? We are gaging the success of our parenting styles by observing other parents. We get so caught up in a parenting race that we decimate our strengths and authenticity. I am in no way saying that we shouldn’t strive to be better parents. I just believe that our vulnerability is our strength. It pushes us to go deeper and accept our shortcomings.
We are all doing our best to navigate this journey. Let us savor the moments that we may not have the privilege to experience again. Let’s continue to be better than we were yesterday. Let our family goals be authentically tailored to our family. Let us strive to be better, love unconditionally and help our children to thrive as individuals. Let’s leave the need to compete and compare out of the picture!