Originally Posted by Storm Bride
"How do you know you're a good parent?"
I don't. I do my best. It's all I've got.
One of my family's favorite sayings comes from my grandma (or was it great grandma?): "Do you best, even the angels can do no more."
The other piece that I'd add: Sometimes, your best is better than than it is on other days. Or as one my friends put it when I was going through postpartum anxiety/depression and trying to teach a demanding college course at the same time: It's OK to be a B teacher some days. It's OK to be a B parent. Some days I'm lucky to achieve being a C parent. As long as don't descend into below average too often, I'm doing OK.
I was a B- parent this afternoon -- my back hurts and so I'm cranky. I was playing with dd, ds wanted to do something different with dd, and his negotiation failed. They descended into arguing. I descended into yelling at them and slamming my door while I calmed down. Not great parenting. But you know, I came and gave ds a hug shortly after that. When dd was finally ready to take her stuffed animals 'camping' in the front yard she came down the stairs and said "I'll need help opening the front door." I was right behind her and thought I'd open the door. However, ds was in the kitchen, heard her and opened it for her. He did that despite the fact that he was still a little ticked with her for not playing soccer with him. That's one of those little moments that Linda on the move mentioned that made me think, OK, I must be doing a little something right.
Originally Posted by Linda on the move It's just little things, though, nothing big. The little moments of connection with my kids, the little moments when they amaze me.
I'm not sure if the little things tell me that I'm doing well as a parent, or if they just inspire me and give me energy to keep going.
Originally Posted by CI Mama
Just another thought....
How much of parenting is trying to be the parent you wish you'd had growing up?
For me, very little. My parents were decent parents. Not perfect, but pretty good. True my attempts at 'best' parenting look different from my parents' attempts, but I have different tools and different knowledge. They did the best they could in some trying circumstances and more importantly, they got one fundamental thing right: They loved and respected their children for who they are, not who they wanted them to be. I think if you can do that most days, you'll be OK.
For me, seeing my kids' behavior as a reflection of my parenting would feel a lot like viewing their blue eyes as a reflection of my parenting. I mean, yeah, they've got blue eyes because dh and I have blue eyes, but it's not like it's something we actively chose. Ds gets compliments all the time because he's a quiet, respectful kid. He doesn't get into trouble because he's cautious. Teachers love him because he does his work, he doesn't goof off or talk too much in class, he helps others, and he's creative. Nothing we did made him like this, he was born like this. Should we take credit for that?