I think all you moms out there are familiar with mom guilt. It's that twinge a woman* feels when she overhears another mom at the playground saying something like "well, of course we're only feeding our daughter homemade, organic, local, fair trade, non-GMO, hormone-free baby food." You nod your head enthusiastically while frantically covering up the label on your just-plain-old-Gerbers baby food. You consider buying some organic jars to have with you when you're out in public. Ugh, my kid is going to grow an extra arm because her pears aren't organic! Welcome to mom guilt.
7 Ways to Tell You’re a Great Parent
We all know there’s no such thing as a perfect parent, but if you’re doing at least a few of the things on this list, then rest assured—you’re doing great!
- You discipline with love. When it comes to disciplining your children effectively, you know that how you communicate—what you say and how you say it—is key. You discipline your children with words that are instructive, not destructive, and caring, not callous. You understand that your children need love and guidance, and you treat them fairly when they make mistakes.
- You take time to care for your own health and well-being. Parenting is hard work. You deserve and need time for yourself so you can recharge. You exercise, try to eat healthy foods, and schedule personal time because you know that when you feel recharged and rested you can be the best parent possible and one that your children are lucky to have.
- You know how to forgive yourself. All parents have moments they are not proud of. When you feel bad about something you said or did, you think about the situation, learn from your mistake, vow to do better next time, forgive yourself, and move on. You know the most important time in your child’s life is the present moment, so you cherish it by not dwelling on past mistakes.
- You celebrate your accomplishments. Parenting is a 24/7 job, and parents should take time to reflect on how much they have accomplished. When your child reaches a new milestone, such as becoming fully potty trained, or even when you observe a special moment, such as seeing your child being a true friend to a playmate, you smile and pat yourself on the back because you know the vital role you play in shaping your child’s future.
- You seek out support. Parenting is tough, and many families struggle to balance it all. You understand that all parents need support. You know that having someone to talk to who knows what you are going through or can watch your child if an emergency requires your attention—or when you just need some time to yourself—makes all the difference in the world.
- You show respect for your child’s co-parent. You know your children thrive when all their caregivers work together in your children’s best interest. Regardless of whether you live with your children’s co-parent, you make sure the two of you are on the same page, and you compromise when necessary because you want your children to know how important they are
- You show your children love every day. Your children mean the world to you, so you use everyday gestures, such as a thoughtful note or a simple “I love you,” to show your children how much you care.
So carry on, Dad. Keep up the great work, Mom. We know it’s a tough job, but we also know you’re up for the challenge.