It is, first, necessary to really understand the difference between being content and being satisfied. To be content, as far as I’m concerned, is to be able to be happy in the life you’re living. Being satisfied means that you have no interest of becoming better.
We have to learn to be content with our lives because our children (and others) are watching. Being a great parent is NOT about whether you provide your children with the best clothes, a variety of cultured experiences, or prohibiting them from watching too much TV sometimes.
I believe today we have so much more pressure when it comes to being a parent because all of the influence that comes with access to the internet. We can come across a kid on YouTube playing the piano better than Beethoven. We log onto Facebook and learn a friend took another trip to Disney World. We go onto our news feed and read a new study that states children should not watch more than 1-hr of TV per day. There are countless reasons for us to believe that we are just not doing enough, we’re not good enough or we don’t have enough.
I believe the way you parent is very important, but what really makes a great parent? Is the kid happy? Do they have nutritional food to eat when they are hungry? Are there clothes clean and neat? They may seem so basic, but that is the point! I really believe that we make parenting so much harder than it is supposed to be.
My two little ones stay home with me during the day while the others are in school. We have a routine that I try to stick to throughout the weekdays. Aaron, 3, and I come into my home office after I get the boys off to school. We log onto Starfall and he does some activities (read-alongs, songs, etc) and then I print out some more activities so that he can draw, color and practice writing. This usually gives me a couple hours to get some light work done.
About a week ago, Aaron comes up to me with a game of Checkers and says he wants to play with me. I snapped at him saying, “Go color. Mommy’s busy!” The look on his face before he stormed away struck me with guilt. I felt bad because he just wanted to play with me. He wasn’t asking for the latest video game or another BeyBlade like the older ones. He just wanted to spend a little time with me instead of coloring. Although I was swimming in work, I just had to put my down my laptop and play Checkers until lunch time. He cheated the entire time, but it was fun!
I created this shirt to serve as a reminder that we are doing just fine! We have the toughest jobs in the world and should not be piling more pressure on ourselves.