Is Anyone Winning At Parenting?

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The other day, I saw a funny post from Jim Gaffigan’s Facebook page. Jim said, “Every night before I get my one hour of sleep, I have the same thought: ‘Well, that’s a wrap on another day of acting like I know what I’m doing.'” I LOL’d because it’s so true! He goes on to say,” I wish I were exaggerating, but I’m not. Most of the time, I feel entirely unqualified to be a parent. I call these times being awake.”I don’t know about you, but this quote sums up my state of mind on most days. I can’t ever recall a day where I thought, “You know what, I’m totally winning at this parenting thing!” In fact, I’m usually thinking, “How much longer until Nicole gets home from work?!” Now don’t get me wrong; I love being a parent and I love taking care of my boys. I am so grateful for the love I receive from my kids and I can’t imagine life without them. It’s just so dang overwhelming sometimes, and I feel like I suck at being a father. I lose my temper too often, I’m not nearly as patient as I need to be, and I can’t get the kids to clean their dang rooms without World War 3 breaking out! Someone just hit me with a shovel already!

If you’re like me, you’re probably your worst critic. Any mistake you make with parenting hits you hard and it can be difficult to forgive yourself. I have the sweetest boys who are so quick to forgive me when I mess up. My oldest son, Joe, is very sensitive (and can hear a conversation from a mile away). One night he heard me tell Nicole that I feel like the worst father ever. Joe came in the room and was sobbing. When I asked him what was wrong he said, “Dad, you’re not the worst dad ever. You’re the best dad. I don’t like it when you say that!” Man, what a heart wrencher! Joe showed me that his love is unconditional, just as any love should be. This is particularly important for all parents to remember, that true love always shows mercy and forgiveness. Just as our Heavenly Father l0ves us, so should we love one another. As tough as I am on myself, I know that my true vocation is to be a father and I know I’m not the worst at what I do.

When you’re in the moment and caught up in the chaos of your daily life, you won’t always remember to show your best to your kids. You’re going to make mistakes and feel really awful afterwards. If I had a sure-fire method of avoiding these mistakes I’d have made millions with a book deal years ago! So all we can do is challenge ourselves to be better parents and never allow pride to get in the way of a healthier relationship with our kids. Man up and admit your mistakes. Humble yourselves and ask your kids for forgiveness. It’s OK for our kids to see that we’re human beings who aren’t perfect.  In fact, it may be healthy for them to see that and, heck, they may come to respect us for it. What a concept, right?

Don’t allow yourselves to become discouraged as a parent if you feel like you’re failing. Believe me, you’re not alone. Reach out to other parents and seek support. Most importantly, ask God to guide you through parenthood. He knows your weaknesses and can help you overcome them. Nothing is impossible with the Lord. Leave your comments here and let’s talk! God bless you and yours.

 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. The Padre says:

    Rich,
    You’re right about all of it. We are our own worst critic. I had great parents that did things wrong, and I was a lousy dad that still did something right. The main things is to never give up. Not on your kids, your marriage, or yourself. When you have doubts, ask for Gods help and he will always guide you. Often, as was the case when Joe reminded you, God sent an answer before you asked. Keep up the great work. The two of you are raising great children and are an inspiration to all of us.

    Like

    1. Rich says:

      Thanks, Jim!

      Like

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