Too often, we as parents, find our value and worth based on whether or not our kids are winning. Are they excelling in school? Are they amazing in art? Are they hitting a home run literally and even figuratively? Do they show the values and morals of our family when we’re there and even when we’re not?
To make it more personal, too often I have struggled with finding my value as a parent based on how good my kids are doing. I am ashamed to say that. In the past, I have been guilty of judging other parents by the behavior of their kids. I used to assume well behaved kids meant that they were raised by solid parents. Then I became a parent. And, to add another log to the fire, we became foster parents. We have dealt with some big things. We are still dealing with some big things. My kid has been the one stealing a wallet from another child. Another one has regular tantrums; sometimes as many as 5 tantrums in one day leading to 3 different teachers getting pinched, scratched, and bit. We have alarms on some of the bedrooms in our house. It is a good week when we are only late to school once. I have been guilty of losing my cool. My kids hear regularly that our car is not a trash can. Sometimes I have to put myself in time out so that I can have a minute to breathe… And then, I dive back in.
It took some counseling for me to get to the other side of this and be able to say that winning as a parent is not in how my kids are doing. It is not in whether or not they achieve huge success in their life. It is not whether or not they stay out of trouble. Winning as a parent isn’t even about whether or not I make mistakes (BIG SPOILER- we are all screw ups.) It is about perseverance and the willingness to show up over and over again despite the hard. It is about fiercely loving which sometimes means hard love because, at times, it is better to be not liked and know you have tried your best to teach them right from wrong. It is about fighting for your child even when they don’t appreciate or understand it. I have come to terms with the fact that my kids may get older and may feel like I did everything wrong. And, I have a peace being able to honestly look myself in the mirror and say I have tried my best and, at the end of the day, I showed up the best I knew how and tomorrow I am committed to showing up again.
Keep showing up my friends.
Founder/CEO Foster Arizona