GUEST BLOG: How Do You Know When You Are Being A Good Parent?

On January 1st, my husband and I sat down with my eight year old daughter and my five year old son and had a family meeting.  We asked them, what are some changes you feel that we need to make as a family? My daughter said she would like us to have more mother /daughter time.  That said to me that she needs to have more of my attention.  I had no idea that she felt that way until I gave her the opportunity to speak her mind.  I thought to myself, “Wow, how could I not know that she was feeling this way?  I am a bad mother.”

I always ask myself jokingly, why don’t these kids come with instruction manuals?  I mean what is the measuring stick of parenting?  How do you know that you are being a good parent?  Here I am with the lives of these little people entrusted in my care and I want to do it right.  God forbid that thirty years from now my children are in a therapist office hearing the words “It’s all your mother’s fault.”

Amazingly, I have found that I am not the only one questioning whether or not I am a good parent.  As mothers, we tend to constantly second guess ourselves.  The truth of the matter is there is really no cookie cutter template of what a good parent is.  What works perfectly for someone else may not work for you and your kids.  We all can’t be Carol from the Brady Bunch.

In today’s society most kids are lucky to even get a home cooked meal.  I remember the days before I became a teacher.  I would get home at 6:30-7 p.m. and then try to cook dinner.  By the time dinner was done my kids would be asleep.  I would feel awful.  Then morning would come and I would be so flustered to get out of the house on time that I would not have time to cook a healthy breakfast.  I would find myself buying fast food more often than I should.  Ever take a crayon and write your child’s name with your left hand because you forgot to help her with her homework?  Hey don’t judge.  The life of a working mother is not one to be envied. I lived with this constant guilt.  I felt like the worst parent ever.  I had to find a way to re-adjust.

The key to being a successful parent is finding what works best for you and your children.  Trying to fit your life into someone else’s mold will only lead to frustration and stress.  For example, I found that in order for my day to go right, I must get up at least 5:30 a.m.  When I mention this to most people their response is “What! That is far too early!”  Well, it may be for you but for me that is what works. It gives me enough time to cook a healthy breakfast, prepare lunch and have a few minutes of devotions each morning.

To find what works best for you, you can start by asking yourself a few questions.  

One, are your kids healthy? Two, are they happy?  These are the two things that matter the most.  Many times we do not give ourselves the credit we deserve.  Third question is how can I assist in making their lives better?  It may even be helpful to ask your kids what you can do to be a better parent to them. Even within your own family you may find that each child requires a different level of attention.    And of course as your children grow your parenting style may change.  And if you make a mistake as we all do, cut yourself some slack.  Kids are resilient.  They are not expecting you to be perfect they just want you to be perfect for them, which you are.

The other day my son looked at me and said as he always does “Mummy you’re the best mummy in the world!”  Just the affirmation I needed. As for my daughter we decided that once a month we will have a girl’s day.

Ernesta Rodriques is a wife and mother. 

Ernesta Rodriques and her beautiful family


kelbel said...

Congralulations Ernesta on a Beautiful Family...and I believe that you are a Great Mom! BTW this is Kelly Butler we met at BCF, when you headed the Nursery Dept. :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome Ernesta! Thanks for you insight. As mothers I think we all have these questions.

ernesta rodriques said...

Thanks for the comments.... Kelly! I hope you are well.

CarleneLorraine said...

Nessie I am I am up cooking..thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

You have a beautiful family. You are also a wonderful wife and mother. Thumbs up! Melissa

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