As a girl in my early twenties I loved loud music, the louder the better. I danced to loud music in the morning while I got ready, I danced to loud music in the car, I sometimes even danced at school or work - if it was that good of a day. If you were to ask my parents one thing they don't miss about me living at home, I'm sure they would tell you "the bass pounding, or the incessant replay of pitbull's 'Give me everything tonight'"
Fast forward to a girl in her mid twenties and you know what I love now? Backyardigans soundtrack... yup you read that right, Backyardigans soundtrack. I've traded in my Steve Madden stilettos for NukNuk Costco slippers, and my pitbull club music for a kids TV show soundtrack.
But you know what?... I love it!
The more I journey through the adventures of parenthood, the more I realize how drastically my life has changed in the last 2 years. Not just because I have another human that I am responsible to take care of, but because I see the world new again - through my daughter's eyes. Where everything is funny, everything is new, mysterious, and fun. I find myself "mooing" like a cow in the cashier's line up, eating smooshed raspberries from a sticky palm, or teaching someone about poop in their diaper.
Of course there are days where I feel like I just can't take it, days when I am beyond stressed and just treading water. Days where she watches 4 episodes in a row because I need time to decompress, or days when I give her apple juice so that the sugar perks her up outta that shitty mood she's been sporting.
Overall though, I am a good parent.. maybe even a great one.
Could I be better? absolutely!
Patience is something I struggle with everyday. I have a daughter who I'm sure was sent here to teach me about patience, and when I lose it, guilt wracks my soul.
I see how my angry tone breaks her little heart and I feel like I am failing her.
I beat myself up for discipling her, or not spending enough time with her; for going out without her, or not being the one to put her to bed.
I hardly ever remind myself that I am a good parent... but thankfully the people around me do!
So if you're still reading... I'm here to tell you, 10 Ways You're a Good Parent too!
1. You choose to listen to their music instead of yours. So simple you probably never considered it, but yes, this makes you a good parent! Choosing your child's preferences over your own shows selflessness; a quality that isn't always easy to possess.
2. You act silly with them in public. Showing your child it's okay to be silly or have freedom of expression makes you a good parent! When you act silly with them in public it shows them your confidence, a trait they will inherit from you!
3. You accept every gift or gesture, no matter how gross. Eating the offerings of a mushed up raspberry makes you a good parent! You should be proud, you're little one is sharing!! but not even just that, they want to share with you! Where do you think they picked up that gesture? YOU! because you're a GOOD parent!
4. You play with them at bath time. Another one that might seem simple, but still makes you a good parent!! Children learn through play, and having you there to watch as a guide helps them learn more and more! Not to mention, it's great to have company :)
5. You share your food. Even though they already have their own. You hand feed that little piece from your plate and something in them lights up. Kids pay close attention to what their parents do; they will inherit these acts of kindness, and that makes you a good parent!
6. You get down on their level to play. Seeing an adult get down on all fours is something kids love! They feel more relatable to you when you sit down to play, and enjoy every minute of you being there with them. That makes you a good parent!
7. You worry about the best foods to feed them. Caring about what your little one eats shows devotion. You care about what foods you're feeding them and how it will affect their health. That makes you a good parent!
8. You cuddle, sing, rock, read, dance, bathe etc. before bed. Spending quality time with your little one before they are off to sleep helps them wind down and makes them feel safe to close their eyes. This makes you a good parent!
9. You teach them about their bodies. Showing your child their body, what it does, what things mean, and what they are called, that is helping them learn self-acceptance. They will grow up feeling comfortable with their body and are more likely to notice when something seems wrong. This makes you a good parent!
10. You show them love. Of course I had to put this one in here. Every time you hold their hand, pick them up, hug them, rock them, dance with them, give them a high five or a smile, you are showing them love! You show them love when you give your partner affection, or when you cuddle your pet. You show them love every single day in a thousand little ways, and that makes you a good parent!
As hard as you may be on yourself or your parenting skills, you love your child, and most days that is enough! Try not to stress about who's doing it better, or that you're doing it all wrong. We are all walking our own path and learning as we go! No one has parenting figured out, we're ALL flying by the seat of our pants. When your children grow up they won't remember the times you "let them down", they will remember all the times you were there! And when they are grown and have kids of their own, they will start to worry all the ways they "let you down" when they were growing up.
I often forget, but with a little reminder I am set straight again... So if no one has told you lately, YOU'RE A GOOD PARENT!