Parenting is Hard

Parenting is hard.  As parents, we constantly question whether we are making the bests choices, the right sacrifices, are we raising our kids to be the humans we want them to be?  There is no exact guide and science to parenting, and it is different for every parent and every child.

One thing we need to stop doing is comparing ourselves to other parents, along with judging other parents.  I think we all do the best we can with the resources and knowledge we have, so why do we always second guess what we are doing?

Yes, I think it is good to learn new parenting techniques…constantly work on growing ourselves as adults and working on our Mothering and Fathering skills.  I am big on always challenging yourself to be better.

Yet I still find myself going into that guilt cycle, doubting myself as a parent, second guessing my choices.  I know I’m a good Mom and do the best I can, so why do these thoughts creep into my head?

I work part time, but in the last year, I’ve taken on marketing and renting duties of my family’s vacation rental, along with starting another passion, online fitness coaching.  These things take time.  They take some sacrifices.  Some mornings I spend a couple hours working on my businesses…often I sacrifice my television shows in the evenings.  There’s always that voice in my head telling me to put down my phone and play with my kids.  Set the computer aside and go do something goofy and fun with the family.  And I do…but probably not enough.  I have a dream..I have a goal…and when I set a goal, I become focused and determined, working hard until I hit that goal.

I recently had a teammate tell me she was going to quit coaching and take a step back from all social media because she wants to be more present in her children’s lives.  That is amazing.  Should I be doing that?

Shortly after, my mother told me she would take my kids overnight for New Year’s Eve so my husband and I could do something.  Wow!  I was excited!  Later that week I had another friend tell me she didn’t want to be away from her kids on New Year’s Eve because she wanted to spend as much time as she could with them before they return back to the school schedule.   Oops.  Mom of the year here cheering because her kids will be gone for the night.

Then last night I watched a video I was tagged in on Facebook with a song all about telling kids to slow down, and holding on to every moment with them.  I teared up knowing my kids were already 2 hours away with my mom.  I am a horrible mom.  I work away from home part time, then come home and have to work on my business.  I got excited that my kids were going to be away for a night, and now felt extremely guilty, wondering if I am wasting this precious time I will want back when they are grown.

I want to be one of those moms that wants to play with their kids all day…that never wants a night away from them.  I want to enjoy playing pretend (I hate playing Power Rangers and Barbies…but I can fake it for 5-10 minute at a time).  I want to be like those moms.  But that’s not me. And I have to realize that doesn’t make me a bad mom.  I may not like playing pretend, but I could sit and watch my boys make car and monster sounds all day.  I absolutely love going to my children’s sports practices and games, even if it takes 5 hours out of my day and I’m driving hundreds of miles routstrip.  I tell my kids over and over how much I love them, I cuddle them every night…I let half of them sleep in my bed and dread the day they want to sleep in their own beds.

Just when I needed it, I was listening to a podcast that said this.  “A study by two researchers at the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College found that a child’s sense of well-being is affected less by the long hours their parents put in at work and more by the mood their parents are in when they come home.  Children are better off having a parent who works into the night in a job they love than a parent who works shorter hours but comes home unhappy.  Working late does not negatively affect our children, but rather, how we feel at work does.” (Simon Sinek).

Why am I putting extra time into this business at home? Because I LOVE it.  I have a passion for it.  I see the big picture, the amount of people that I can help, the way this is going to be used as a platform for what God intends me to do.  My children see that. They see the excitement and passion I have.  They ask me when we can exercise together.  They grab my phone and make cooking and informational videos to share.  They buy me cute journals for Christmas and ask me to use it for my Beachbody business.  My kids see how hard I am working and how much fun I have doing it.  And what they don’t even know is I’m doing it partially to have MORE time with them. The fact that I’m almost to a point I can spend a few hours a day working from home and completely cover what is my job as a Physical Therapist earns could mean so much more time for them in the future.  It could mean more family vacations…more volunteering at school…less rushing around last minute trying to find someone willing to come stay with my sick kid because I have a patient scheduled.

I greatly look up to full time stay at home moms that have the energy to play with their kids all day…and the mom’s that don’t ever want to be away from their kids (I think I was like this with my first two, haha).  However, I hope my kids realize that I love them more than anything in the world, that the hard work I put in is for them, that it’s okay to take time for yourself..in fact, it’s important to take care of yourself, that it’s okay to find a job you LOVE that makes you excited to get up in the morning.  I hope I teach them passion in life and to live it to the fullest.

No matter what type of parent you are…no matter how much you question what you are doing as a mom or dad…stop feeling guilty.   Be proud of waking up every day to raise these tiny humans in the best way you know how.  It is the hardest job we will ever do and we will all do it differently.  As long as our kids know they are loved, we are on the right path.  Good job to the stay at home moms that can be so focused on their children.  Good job to the full time working moms who seem to be able to manage it all.  Good job to the moms who feel like they just need a break from being a mom.  All of you are amazing in your own way.

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