Thursday, September 09, 2010

g is for good enough parenting

Good enough parenting: Don't set your standards so high they are impossible to achieve. Aim to do a reasonable job, most of the time. Relish those moments when you've done exceptionally well and learn from the times you haven't.


The moment Madison was born I remember this blissful moment of elation and overwhelming love for my husband. I was going to be the Best Mother ever. And he was going to love me more than before when he would see what a patient, loving and caring mother I was going to be...

Of course, now he's seen me at my very worst. In my paint covered trackie daks (no, he doesn't like them), growling at the kids, tired from lack of sleep, grumpy from days of parroting the same thing over and over, close to tears and unable to form words from extreme frustration, guilt and anger.

Now I remind myself daily not to set my expectations too high. The last few Saturdays I've cried about my failures as a mother. Whether it's not feeding them enough healthy meals, not playing with them enough, not stopping to give them cuddles and kisses, or affirm them, growling too much or not taking the time to explain things properly... you name it, I've taken a guilt trip over it.

But I'm a perfectionist. Personality Type A. Good enough isn't good enough. It has to be better, be the best. I am definitely less than satisfied if I'm only doing it 'good enough'.

How about you? Would you be satisfied with 'good enough' parenting? Have you lowered your expectations to be more realistic? (And tell me how you did it... please?)

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.