Thursday, June 20, 2013

Parenting Fails...and WINS!


Some parenting blogs explore every aspect from positive to painful. While some share only the bright shiny moments and leave the missteps hidden in the shadows.

I try to share the positive moments whenever I can. There's already enough web woe to go around. However, I also divulge some of the sad times, the worries, and the parenting fails. And I fail. Often. Sometimes I worry my mistakes will somehow damage two otherwise perfectly perfect people.

I've sent my kids to school with waffle sandwiches because yet again, I didn't make time to get to the grocery store. Out of frustration, I've slapped my child's hand. I've pouted like an insolent child. I've lied about my daughter's age. I've hidden in the bathroom to check my email. Dinner has consisted of GMO laden crap instead of organic healthy and homemade because sometimes cereal for dinner just happens over here. Moments like these are not exactly worthy of a mom medal of honour.

I've sent my children to school in raincoats on a sunny day because the weather App on my phone — accidentally set to 'Vancouver' — said it would rain. It was 28 degrees and sunny. I've neglected to send them in raincoats because I didn't bother to check the forecast at all. And yes, it rained that day. I've skipped morning sunscreen application or teeth brushing because we were running late. I've called my kids inside from playing in the fresh air to watch TV because of pressing things I needed to get done indoors. And too many days I've selfishly skipped the park after school because chasing my daughter is exhausting.

I share the lows because we all have them, but I prefer to focus on the highs. We all have those too. And if you look around, you'll see parents who are winning all the time.

Like Sandra. She has three beautiful children — magazine cover gorgeous. Her eldest daughter is in my son's grade. She is stunning. As a result, you might think she'd be aloof or conceited or bratty. She's anything but. She is friendly, well-mannered and kind. I credit her parents for teaching her modesty and manners. Parenting win.

Like our neighbours across the street. Their son, a few years older than mine, is generous and polite. He always says hello to my husband and I. He invites our son to play basketball and patiently teaches him new skills. He smiles and waves at my daughter and says hello back each and every time she calls out to him....even if it's a dozen times in a row. And it often is. His parents have clearly taught him compassion and respect. Parenting win.

Like the boy who stops at our van every day after school to "high-five" my daughter. He steps away from his friends and makes time for her. It makes her feel special and we appreciate it more than he knows. His parents must be so proud of the caring, big-hearted young man they are raising. Parenting win.

Instead of joining them, I am writing this post while my kids play in the yard by themselves. Parenting fail. But I'm finished now and we're heading out for a family hike by the lake. Parenting win.

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