From the moment that first baby is placed into your arms…
Let’s back up…
From the moment that double line popped up on a stick I just pee’d on, I began to question my parenting abilities.
My husband and I would wonder if we would be good at this whole thing called “parenting.”
We certainly did not want to screw up our first little combination of the two of us. That would most definitely be a poor reflection on who we were as humans!
And so began our journey of questioning our entire existence as parents about 10 years ago.
Who knew two little lines could make one wonder about life so much?
Fast forward through three c-sections, miscarriages, fostering and adopting and we come to today. Six children in my house. Six crazy, little people who rely solely on myself and my husband to keep them alive and help them become productive, character filled adults that will be unleashed on the world in just a few short years.
Yah. No Pressure.
We have had our fair share of parenting advice given to us.
Some of it very practical.
For instance, “If the baby is crying sniff their butts to see if they pooped.” Sound advice.
Some… Not so helpful.
“You should lock your kids in their rooms at night to teach them not to get out of bed.”
Tempting. (very, VERY tempting) But not such a great idea.
And of course, there is the unrealistic advice…
“Always rock your child to sleep. If you don’t there will be a lack of a healthy bond with the outside world.” or “Only breastfeed, pacifiers and bottles will make your child dumb.”
I am sorry….But this advice you are giving me is dumb!
I can’t tell you exactly what parenting advice was most helpful or if I have stumbled upon the most amazing ten step instructions to kicking-butt as a parent. But I can tell you that you will question your very existence and qualifications as a parent at least several times a day.
Your kids won’t be perfect.
There will be a disgusting amount of bodily fluids to be cleaned up at any given moment.
More than likely your child will choose the most public place to do the most ridiculous things.
And you will NEVER get a full nights sleep.
Possibly months at a time.
In my case, let’s just say years…
So… That brings us to the question of HOW? HOW will you know that you are a Freaking Awesome Parent?
Will the clouds separate and an angelic ray of sunshine land on your child’s head?
Do you get a trophy? A certificate? A lifetime supply of caffeine?
Nope. Most likely you will be the last to realize your Freaking Awesome status.
You will realize how amazing you are as a parent when you….
Number 1: Embrace the Chaos.
Yes. I said it. Chaos.
Kids = Chaos.
There is no way that they don’t equal chaos and clutter and messes and disasters and everything you planned perfectly going completely down the toilet.
Literally, flushed down the toilet clogging it to the point of spilling germ infested water over the edge into the entire bathroom and through the cracks of your old tile floors that need to be replaced and through the roof of your kitchen. CHAOS!!!!!
It’s not going to change tomorrow. It will probably be chaotic today. I just accept that it will (as much as possible) and embrace the fact that they are my chaos and I FREAKING LOVE them!
Number 2: Give yourself some Grace.
You screwed up.
You were late.
You made the wrong decision.
You punished the wrong kid for eating all of the candy you had hidden in the top cupboard behind the plates you never use….
You aren’t perfect????
Okay. Cool. None of us are.
So, let’s all stop pretending that we are perfect, and forgive ourselves for screwing up a lot of times in this parenting journey.
In fact, let’s give each other a high five for screwing up, acknowledging it, and making sure not to do it again!
Number 3: Do you!
That’s right. Don’t be someone else. Just be you.
I’m not you. My kids aren’t your kids.
THANK GOD!!!! ***hehehe*** Just kidding!
Can we all accept the fact that we are absolutely different?
You probably don’t have six kids.
And if you do… Probably half weren’t adopted from foster care.
And if you do have half adopted from foster care, probably two of them aren’t twins….
We can’t compare our lives and our children and our parenting styles, because they are all so crazily different.
If you try to be me, you most likely will hate it.
I don’t mop my floors… I put my foot on a baby wipe, swish it around, and call it a day.
I let my kids be mostly naked the majority of the time (less laundry).
When a child is crying we usually ask, “But did you die?” or “Is there blood?”
And the list of my unique parenting style could go on….
If you are doing these three things and your children are alive, fed, mostly clothed, and going to school you have the basics down.
I am POSITIVE that you are most likely like me….doing your darn-dest best effort to making sure you don’t screw your kids up!
In case no one has told you….
YOU are a FREAKING AWESOME PARENT!!!!!!!
Keep it up.
You love those stinking annoying, adorably obnoxious little people a ton.
They are pretty amazing.
And YOU… You are FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!
Disclosure: I am not a perfect parent. But my kids think I am pretty awesome, which makes me kind of an expert, but not a professional.