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How I know I’m doing parenting right

Being a parent is so hard, am I right? We work so hard and it’s just so difficult to tell whether we’re getting it right. It’s much easier to tell when we’ve gotten something wrong. As if we weren’t hard enough on our selves, the “mommy wars” and society in general can sometimes come down even harder on us. No one is going to agree with every decision we make. Our confidence falters regarding parenting decisions where there really is no right answer.

After six years and two kids, I’ve learned that just doing my best is all I can do. I’ve learned that my best is enough. I’ve learned that what’s right for my kids and my family might not be right for your kids and your family…but that’s okay.

When I first started realizing this, I heard people saying, “As long as the kids are alive, you’re doing a good job.” At first, this was comforting to me. I figured, if I put my kids to bed every night and they were safe, I was doing enough…but a devastating tragedy changed my mind.

My online friend Jacqui and her husband, Dan, were playing with their son, Ryan, in their front yard one day. They tossed a Frisbee to Ryan and Ryan was so excited that he ran after it into the street. He was hit by a truck.  He was three years old…and he did not survive the impact.

Suddenly, I realized that having your children “alive” isn’t what makes a good parent. Jacqui and Dan are amazing parents, and they suffered a terrible loss on account of a terrible accident.

I think it’s important that we recognize and become sensitive to this sort of tragedy. Mothers and Fathers lose their children for all sorts of reasons, none of which are because they are bad parents.

I’d really like to put this out there: Can we stop saying, “My kids are still alive, I must be doing something right”. I’ve said it joking around with friends. I’ve heard other moms say it. I thought it was a funny expression. I’m even guilty of uttering those words before, but not anymore. I vow not to.

How about we just start saying simply, “You’re doing a good job.” Because when we’re trying our hardest, we’re doing a good job. When we make mistakes, we’re doing a good job.

The truth is, if we’re worrying about doing a good job…there’s a pretty good chance we’re doing a good job.

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