I have been thinking of the concept of a good parent for some time now. What makes a good parent? Do we strive for something that is attainable or should we simply strive to be good enough? Who has the right to say whether someone is a good parent or not? I mean it is obvious that certain criteria mean that a person’s parenting skills should be questioned – things such as neglecting your child, failure to feed or wash or clothe your child, abusing your child etc. It is obvious what makes a bad parent when you examine the end of a spectrum but what about in the middle? Is “good enough” good enough?
I ask this as I don’t think I have done a bad job of bringing my 2 girls up. How do I measure that? Well Imogen is 15 and has never been in trouble with the police, she has never been drunk, she has tried a couple of cigarettes but hated it, she has kissed a few boys but is a well informed sensible girl who has not done anything illegal! She looks after herself, takes care about her appearance and has a good circle of friends. She is polite and well mannered and has just done very well in her GCSE exams a year early.
Savannah is 7 and she is doing well at school. She also seems fairly popular and gets invited to parties that her peers have. I can’t comment on police and illegal activities she is quite frankly to young lol.
BUT…….are these good benchmarks for judging my parenting skills? What about having a tidy and organised home? What about being able to attend school functions for your child? What about being able to give them the £10 here and £2 there for bits and pieces cos if these are the benchmarks then I am failing!!! School functions are challenging for a full time working mum to get to especially when they are held in the middle of the school day. The tidy house thing is not really who I am, I have always been a messy gal. And money, well that is the worst bit…in this day and age I rarely have change in my purse so when they ask for that last minute “can I just have….” I often have to say no. Am I am poor or bad mother because of this?
Don’t get me wrong, I am simply thinking of how we, as parents, set ourselves up in our modern world. Are we setting goals that are achievable? Are we able to meet this “gold standard” of parenting or is being “good enough” good enough?
Personally, I think I am good enough; and you know what that is ok with me. So the house is a bit messy…who cares it is lived in! So I have little change in my purse…who cares? The bills are paid for, the girls have decent clothes on their backs and there is food on the table. We have fun as a family and we enjoy spending time in each others company (mostly!!). I am happy in my little world.
What really started this off in my head was the fact that over the past few weeks we have got into the habit of Sunday being an at home day for housework and homework. I have never been one for routine but actually I am quite liking the fact that we can spend time out and about on a Saturday and then Sunday is for getting all those things done that need to be done.
Housework is done, homework is done. Tonys’ brother is coming over from Switzerland today with his wife and 2 sons and we are having fondue tonight with proper swiss fondue cheese nom nom nom. Pictures to follow. Meantime I get to squeeze in a couple of snail trail quilt blocks before I have to get ready for the evening. Life is actually very good. I love my husband, I love my girls and I am a good parent.