The thing that makes writing this blog for the past seven years mean something, beyond just a memento for my family to look back on, is the many readers who message me to say things like, “Thank you for making me feel better about myself as a parent.” Or “thank you for the reminder that this job is hard and we all struggle.” These sentiments usually end with something like, “I needed it today.”
You know what? I need it on many days too.
In fact, as Mazzy and Harlow get older, I come down on myself harder when things don’t go the way I want them to. Shouldn’t I have it figured out by now? Meltdowns and misbehavior are universal for toddlers, but what does it say about my parenting skills when it happens to my four and seven-year-old? Aren’t I supposed to be a parenting expert by now? I mean, I wrote a book on the subject!
It’s easy to write about babies and toddlers. It’s easy to forgive yourself and explain things away. We can look back only hours later and laugh at the struggle. But as the kids grow up, it takes work to remember to forgive yourself. That you can’t ever become an expert because your kids don’t stay the same.
Parenthood is a constant state of change and I need to remember that even though I’ve accepted that I’m not perfect now, I’m also not working toward perfection. That will NEVER HAPPEN and that’s okay. Perfection doesn’t help your kids. Being human does.
When I recorded the audible version of my book a few weeks ago, I spent two days reading the humorous stories and laughing with the sound engineer at some of my anecdotes. Then I got to the last chapter and read it almost like it was the first time.
Oh…right. I thought. I figured out the secret to parenthood and I let myself forget it. So here’s a section from the last chapter of my book, the most sentimental chapter, for new parents who are just learning, for more seasoned parents who need to be reminded and for myself.
Have a Remarkably Average Mother’s Day! (One week early.)
“The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting” is currently only $10 on Amazon and the Audible version (read by me) was recently released too! Did I mention it would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Because it totally would.
I’m also giving away three signed copies in the comments! To enter, just tell me your best piece of advice to new parents in the comments below.
Congratulations to Shelly S, Tiffany Fischer and Kim Tran! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize.