Personal Thoughts

10 Things That Make Me a Good Parent

So often, we hear what we are doing ‘wrong’ as parents. Whether this is coming from family members, peers, or from society, it can be exhausting. Sometimes, it’s hard to feel like we do anything right for our kids. Parenting is hard.

For example, when my son was born in 2011, ACOG considered 37 weeks ‘full term’. So once I hit 37 weeks, I started trying all those nifty (and useless) self-induction techniques at home. I walked, had sex, ate pineapple, danced, ate eggplant parmigiana, I even tried Castor Oil (I do NOT recommend, by the way). I wound up going overdue.

In 2013, ACOG changed their recommendations, and now full term is 39 weeks pregnant, because studies show that so much brain and lung development happens between 37 and 39 weeks gestation, and babies born after 39 weeks are far less likely to wind up in the NICU than babies born between 37-39. When I learned that information, I cried. I was appalled that I could potentially have put my baby at risk without realizing it. I felt like a terrible mother, like I had been messing up before my child had even been born.

So, to the parent who feels like they can’t do anything right- I’m right there with ya. It’s a rough place to be in. So today, I want to talk about some things I totally kick ass at as a parent, and that remind me that even on those hard days, I am a good mom.

I’m on time for school and important events.

My kids have never been late to school (knock on wood!), though we’ve had a few close calls. I’m pretty good about getting up in the morning, getting them ready, and scooting us all out the door on time. Sometimes that means my teeth don’t get brushed first, but hey, my kids get to where they need to be on time.

I try to get my kids to have experiences, not just material things.

I’m a big fan of adventure. I love taking my kids places- parks, zoos, events… heck, even just on strolls around the neighborhood to play I-Spy. Some of my own favorite childhood memories were made because of experiences my parents gifted me, and I want to pass that along to my own kids, where I can. Do we do something new and exciting every single day? Of course not, I’m not made of money! But I do try my hardest to give them adventures and experiences on a regular basis.

I’m an enthusiastic sport mom.

Yep, I’m that mom that makes signs for sporting events and brings a cowbell, and I’m not even remotely ashamed of it. My kids might cringe a bit when they get older, but it’s just who I am at my core. Robert is a swimmer, and we recently enrolled Caroline in dance classes (ballet, tap, and jazz). While a dance studio isn’t the place for cheering, swim meets are, and you bet I let my banner fly when my kids are competing. Win or lose, I’m always ridiculously proud of my babies, and I’m sure to let them know it.

I’m a pretty good cook.

I enjoy cooking, and nine times out of ten, the kids enjoy what I make. I’ll take nine out of ten, thank you very much!

I do my best to raise kids that are loving, kind, and open to others.

I believe firmly in love and equality for all, and I raise my kids in an environment that promotes that ideology. I do not have place for hatred, racism, bigotry, homophobia, etc. in my home, and I’m quite vocal about that. As a white woman, I recognize that of course I have privilege and deep-seated internal bias, and I am working on unpacking and addressing it daily. I think it’s important that my kids know it too, so as they grow they can be aware and conscious of those around them, and of their own privilege in various situations.

I’m honest.

I don’t believe in lying to your kids. If one of my kids asks a question, they are going to get an honest answer. Sometimes the questions will include mature content, like “where do babies come from?” I plan to do a blog on how I talk to my kids about sex and anatomy at another time, since it’s a topic that comes up often in groups I’m in. But the long and short of it- I’m honest, while also being age appropriate.

The day the kids ask me if Santa is real will break my heart, but I’m not going to lie. I feel like lying to our kids, or just brushing them off and telling them “I’ll answer that another time/when you are older/not now” doesn’t do them any favors.

I’m a great snuggler.

I love hugs, and I’m always down for a good cuddle puddle on the couch, much to the delight of my kids. To me, there’s nothing sweeter than those quiet moments where you can just be close with the people you love.

I’m a board game queen.

Candy Land? Connect Four? Monopoly? Trouble? Bring it on! Game night at our house is competitive but usually winds up with everyone in hysterical giggle-fits.

I can make up a song about anything.

Literally, anything. Learning to poop on the potty, trying to do homework, walking the dogs… if it can be done, I can make a song for it. It may not be the best song, but it’s entertaining and that’s what counts.

I’m a good listener.

I love when the kids want to tell me stuff. I love when they share about their day, or they simply want me to listen to their imagination at work. Their little voices make my heart soar, and I make sure they know I’m actively listening when they speak.

What about you?

What do you excel at as a parent? Do you make a mean grilled cheese? Do you rock bathtime? I want to know! Leave a comment below and tell me what makes you a #1 Parent!

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