This is the best parenting advice I have ever received. Don’t worry about screwing up your kids, because you are definitely screwing up your kids.
Here is where it gets better.
Even though you are screwing it up, you are rocking it all at the same time. And you don’t know which is which.
This advice came from my dear friend, Sheila Pai, and it totally changed the way I judge my own parenting.
That thing that I am doing that I think is so amazing…well, that may be the thing that they talk about in therapy ALL THE TIME.
That thing that I think I am totally, completely, screwing up? That may be the thing that makes my child turn out, in Sheila’s words, “super dope.”
So, maybe there isn’t much value in judging my parenting play-by-play?
So, maybe if I don’t really know if my choices are good or bad in the moment I should just give myself a break?
Sweet, freaking relief.
This is the same way I felt the first time I read this quote from Elizabeth Gilbert.
“The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”
Oh, so it’s not perfection that we are striving for. That’s not what makes amazing people amazing. It’s the ability to overcome the less than perfect situations we put ourselves in and find ourselves in. Oh, it’s that.
So, I give myself an easier time, because this is what I would like my children to do when they make mistakes. Ease up on the self-judgment and figure out if I need to repair some connection. So I do this. I apologize when I need to apologize, and do better as I learn better.
And then I repeat in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days.