Monday Motivation: You are good enough
"Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, and the hardest thing in the world to do."
As parents, it can seem as though we are contestants in a competitive sport. Especially in our social-media-soaked society, it seems as though whatever we do, we are being judged -- often by total strangers who feel that because they are writing from behind a screen, they can judge others with impunity. Whether it's the always-heated debate about bottle vs. breast, discussions about public school vs. homeschool, or at what age we should buy our children a cell phone, it seems as though every has an opinion these days and if we happen to fall on the opposite side of any particular fence, we are made to feel as though we are doing an inferior job at parenting.
I want to tell you something, and I hope you hear me. Lean in close, I want to whisper it to you...
You are good enough.
Whatever choices you make in the best interest of your children, whether it's feeding or education or the things you choose to buy -- or not buy -- for them, you are doing a great job. You alone know what is best for your children, not anyone else. Parenting is not an Olympic sport. You are not being scored and measured to see how you stack up against some set of criteria. Every child is different, every parent is different, and every household is different. Decide for yourself how you want to raise your child, lead with your instincts, and do what you know to be right. You can't change the fact that everyone will still have opinions, and there will inevitably be people who think you are wrong in your decisions, but you can choose to view their opinions as background noise. Be open to suggestions and words of wisdom from people who have gone before you in the parenting world, but the final word on how you raise your children should be yours.
You are good enough.
Repeat this to yourself when you have moments of doubt, when those nagging voices creep in, making you question your decisions. When your child throws at tantrum because you won't let him have the latest and greatest gizmo that "everyone" else has. When your mother in law says, "That's not how I did it, and he turned out just fine."
You're going to make mistakes as a parent -- that's part of the deal. No one is perfect. But the important thing is that you go with your gut and parent your children in a way that feels right to you. Know that you are good enough, you are doing a great job, and you children will turn out just fine.