What Makes You Feel Like A Good Parent?



The other day, Adam and I were talking about what makes us feel like we sort of have a handle on this parenting thing. The verdict?
- Eating meals together as a family. The three of us eat at least one meal together at the table every day. Four to five days a week, everyone who is home at that time {obviously Adam eats lunch at work during the week} eats all three meals together. We most often miss a meal because Claire's sleep schedule gets thrown off somehow or {usually on the weekends} we are out doing something together and didn't get the food prep started in time.

- Reading to Claire everyday. We love to read and we want to do everything we can to make sure Claire does too. I am not ashamed to say that I enjoy reading to little kids much more than playing their confusing games where the rules are constantly changing and you feel like it's been an hour while it's really only been ten minutes. We started reading to her fairly early on and we've been able to tell that she's actively enjoying it from at least six months. We do bedtime stories all together and we're also starting to do a couple before her afternoon nap, just because it seems to be a good transition from crawling all over the house shouting and emptying every container in sight to blissfully, peacefully sleeping.

- Of course, it warms our hearts every time we make Claire laugh and when she lights up as we walk into the room. I can confidently say the best part of Adam's day is how excited Claire is to see him when he gets home from work!

Obviously, we are far, far from perfect and there are plenty of times where we can't help but feel like pretty terrible parents. These instances seem to be constantly changing:

- I don't know how you could make it through sleep training without feeling like a bad parent. Our attitude towards it was that we were just helping her get the sleep she so needed to grow and thrive. I think we can all agree that it's not super healthy for a four-month old to take absolutely no naps and our pediatrician's advice that "well, they have to fall asleep eventually" wasn't cutting it. {In our case, eventually was fourteen hours later.} I'm sure this is just the first of many times we'll have to make Claire do something she really isn't a fan of because we know it's best for her.

- Despite my best efforts, it can certainly be hard to ignore the mom guilt while purchasing those formula canisters {complete with kind of offensive warning labels}. But when I look at the immediate, obvious differences between her four and five month pictures, I know without a doubt that formula was the necessary decision to get that preemie of ours everything she needs.

-  Now, the bad parent feeling pops up regularly when Claire gets hurt because we're not watching her like a hawk. A rather funny example: I am on the computer quickly trying to put a book about toddler discipline on hold at that library and Claire somehow finds some batting {like the kind to stuff a pillow with} and eats it. I find her coughing it up like a fur ball and, of course, immediately trying to eat some more. The fact that she laughs at the word "no" and doesn't like any vegetables is also a little worrying...

I find it so interesting to think about how these answers will change over the years and how they are different for every family!


  1. I couldn't specifically nail down one specific thing, but definitely seeing my girls interact positively, thoughtfully, and caringly toward each other, myself, Brett, and friends, makes me feel confident. However, I will say, I feel as though girls do a good job of keeping me humble. Whenever I feel like, I'm doing a pretty decent job as a mom I any specific area, behavior, or what have you, they show me many wAys i am failing them, and ways I can do better. Parenting is definitely not a job you can be stagnant in. Things are always changing and evolving, and it's extremely necessary to stay flexible and willing to learn.

    1. And thus, what makes me feel like I good parent today could result in me feeling like failure tomorrow. But, that's what makes it interesting. :)

  2. Anonymous3/06/2013

    I love this. My girls and 11 & 13. I remember when my 13 yo was an infant and I was playing with her on a blanket on the floor and the phone rang. I got up to get it and when I came back 2 seconds later, my infant was sucking on the little book from the CD we were listening to (Return to Pooh Corner) and one of the staples was misssing. I just about died. I called my mom and the pediatrician and my mother-in-law and my husband at work. I was frantic. They all assured me she would pass the staple if she had swallowed it. What if she choked? What if it cut up her intestines? About a half hour later, I found the staple on the floor.

    I homeschool my girls now and I feel like a good parent when I allow them some space to find what interests them and some time to pursue that. I feel like a good parent when I see them understand how to do something. We eat at least one meal together as a family every day, as well. Also, late night chats, when I tuck them in and they confide in me about whatever is bothering them....those moments make me feel like a good mom.

    Love this!


You are awesome.