This week, a lady pulled me aside at my kiddo’s sporting event and said she was so impressed by both of my children. She asked me, “What are you doing with your kids to make them so responsible, respectful, and enjoyable to be around?” My mind went blank and I paused for a minute. I blushed a little, smiled politely and said, “I’m not sure what my secret is, but thank you!” I felt like my heart would explode. Epic mom moment.
See, I work REALLY HARD to try to be a good mom – to be present, engaged, and fun; yet hold my kids to a firm line with high expectations.
In that moment, I felt all the mom pride! I went home, immediately told my husband and we talked of how maybe we were doing something right with them. Maybe we had more of this parenting thing down than we thought. We high-fived each other and went on with our afternoon.
Fast forward two hours.
Yes, that’s right, two hours later… my son was involved in an “incident” with the neighbor’s kids. Everything we had just celebrated two hours ago – all that responsible, respectful behavior – flew out the window. And within 72 hours of that “epic parent high-five” with my husband, both of our children’s poor judgement and carelessness had them speeding past “minor blunders and mistakes” into uncharted territory for us in terms of behavior. You know, the kind that require parent meetings and mortifying apologies. And to top it all off, neither kid stopped at one humiliating event.
Ugh… all I could think was maybe I didn’t have any of this parenting stuff figured out.
Why tell you this?
I tell you this because as a mom I tend to hold myself responsible for the actions of my kids — I somehow find MY worth in how THEY behave.
This week has been a tough one; one that I would have been happy to end by Tuesday morning. But this week I have been reminded that as parents we can work hard to raise our kids, show just the right amount of love, discipline, and engagement, but at some point, we have to let them out into the world to try their skills on their own. And well – newsflash – they don’t always get it right. Sometimes it’s two steps forward and three steps back.
My “epic mom” words of advice.
So hardworking moms, my advice to you is to enjoy those moments when you receive a compliment from someone about your child. Or that encouraging email from their teacher. Or that moment when your kiddo finally does what you’ve asked the first time, or better yet, without being told. Celebrate those events! Create a mental scrapbook of those “epic mom moments,” because they don’t always last for too long.
Your kiddo is going to screw up and make mistakes. When that happens, don’t beat yourself up and judge your parenting skills or ability on that one incident (or three). Pour yourself a glass of wine, take a deep breath, flip through that mental scrapbook of your epic moments, and start fresh the next day. It happens to us all. The fact that you care means you are well on your way to becoming an epic mom — even if it’s just for two hours at a time!