The More Information, the Better
Being a parent is not easy. As my oldest nears puberty and adolescence, I have thought back to my adolescence and the trouble I caused, and I know I need to gather as much knowledge as I can so that I will be as prepared as I can be for whatever is ahead of us.
So whenever there’s an opportunity for me to learn something new, I try to take it. When there’s a speaker who comes to school to talk with the parents, I try to go. When I get a recommendation for a parenting book, I try to read it. When there’s an online community that resonates with me, I sign up for it.
It’s like the saying “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” Only now, given that most people move away from the communities in which they were raised, we have to create our villages. We have to turn to books and other resources to find the knowledge that was once gained from village elders.
Doing the Best You Can
Other parents are often a good resource as well. Recently, while talking with a few moms after school drop-off, I was reminded of some knowledge in the form of a phrase: “We are all doing the best we can.” Simple, yet effective. It’s nothing new, but shared in this way, I was reminded of something I’ve told my girls in the past.
When they’re nervous about something or worried they won’t be good enough or do something well enough, I’ve reminded them to just do their best. As long as they do that, no matter what happens, they’ll know they’ve done all they could. It’s also a great reminder to ourselves as parents.
Recently, my eleven-year-old was not happy that the time I spend reading to her before bed was cut short. She thought it was unfair and was not shy about sharing it. As soon as I acknowledged her frustration and told her that I was doing the best I could to meet everyone’s needs, including my own, and handle everything that was going on that night, her irritation disappeared.
Create Your Village
Without the village I have created and continue to create for myself, and the reminder of this phrase, I don’t know what I would have said or how I would have responded when I was tired and not exactly happy myself. I have a feeling, though, that instead of addressing the situation and being able to read for the little time we had, we would have probably spent it frustrated and unhappy with my daughter going to bed mad.
If you don’t have a strong village of support, I urge you to start building it now. An easy first step is to become a part of the Birth2Work community by signing up for their newsletter and taking one of their free courses. With the clarity from their courses, you’ll be able to continue to gather the people and knowledge around you who will support you and give you strength when yours may be lacking.
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