I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

I’m not a great parent.

I don’t mean I’m a bad parent…just that I’m not a great one. My kids know I love them and that I think they are awesome. They are dressed, fed, and are healthy. They are smart (but I really have nothing to do with that). They have friends. They use their manners some of the time. They keep their rooms pretty clean and help around the house.  We do fun stuff and we do serious stuff. I take them places. We stay at home.

We are average.

  • I don’t spend a fortune on birthday parties or new clothes for them.
  • I don’t fill their day with activities and mind stimulating tasks
  • They don’t have a ton of new toys or the latest and greatest of anything.
  • We don’t volunteer and give back as much as we should.
  • We don’t go out to eat everyday.
  • They eat way to much sugar.
  • I don’t give each of them the one on one attention they probably need each day.

I take the blame for all of the above. I should do better. I really should.

It’s not that I don’t know I should better – I mean, I’m trying. I’m trying really hard. It’s just that..I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m navigating this life the same way they are. I’m just an older kid – I’m trying new things, learning new things, figuring out my way. I’ve never been a parent to an 11 year old girl and a 7 year boy before. I really don’t know what I’m doing.

My kids, I’m sure, have already figured this out.

For example, I bend time to accomodate whatever I need to accomplish. I will tell them we have 5 minutes…this can mean 20 seconds or an hour depending on what we are doing. If I want to leave, it’s 20 seconds. If I want to stay, it’s an hour. They can tell time, so I don’t know who I think I’m fooling.

Also, I realize I am supposed to help my 7 year old son brush his teeth. Most days I do, but…sometimes…well, I take a chance and let him do it himself. Or I forget before they go to bed and they don’t do it at all.

Some days I have a lot of work to do, so we skip school. I admit it. AND every once in a while they get a veg out day. Not because they need it, but because I do.

Once, or maybe more than once, one of them hit the other one and I told them to hit the other one back.

I’m a mess.

I sometimes envy the people who have it all figured out: schedules, rules for eating, daily chore lists, everything set in stone. It seems so structured and mapped out. The reality is, though…it’s not. My way is not better or worse than their way. It’s just a different way. We have rules and schedules for a lot of stuff, but not everything. Our life is not like a lot of other people’s lives, and the way we parent doesn’t look like the way other people may parent. And that’s okay. It’s just sometimes hard to remember that some of the stuff I do (or don’t do) is my way of staying sane when I usually have two other bodies to take with me wherever I go.

It’s hard not to judge other people for their parenting skills. It’s hard not to judge ourselves for our own parenting skills. So, I’ll just say that I’m a good parent with good kids. Some days are better than others. I think most of you are good parents with good kids, too. Are any of us great parents? I mean, really? So much of that depends on our kids, our situations, even the day of the week! Most of us are just learning what we should do – and most of the time, what we should NOT do!




I decided to stop beating myself up for not being the world’s greatest mom. I will still TRY to be, but when I screw up and say the wrong thing, react the wrong way, or do the wrong thing, I won’t let it bother me for weeks. I will apologize. I will admit to  my child that I am learning this whole mom thing, just like they are learning the whole “growing up” thing. And then we will watch mindless TV and eat sugary crap.

Because I’m a good parent like that.


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