Motherhood Didn’t Come with a Rubric.

motherhood

I am Type A in a lot of respects.

I like to have a plan and I like to follow it. It is helpful to know what is expected of me. I take pride in meeting and exceeding expectations.

Enter, motherhood.

I knew before I became a mother that parenting is the most important job I would ever have. It was important to me to do a good job–no–an outstanding job. I wanted to be the best mother I could be.

But HOW do I do that?

What does that even mean?

Sadly, motherhood did not come with a rubric.

I know the bare minimum standards: keep them alive, fed, and uninjured. But I tend to parent according to an ideal that I know I’ll never attain. What I don’t have is a realistic set of goals to guide my parenting by. 

And I want one.

I want to know when it’s okay to take a break.

I want to be able to stop feeling guilty all the time and start feeling confident in my parenting skills.

And I know — I know that this says far more about my self esteem than it does about parenting.

But I still want a rubric.

So, here is my attempt at a bare minimum set of standards.

  1. Tell the kids they are loved.
  2. Keep them safe — buckled in seats, dressed for the weather, and away from all the dangerous things.
  3. Listen to them
  4. Give hugs and kisses
  5. Correct and discipline them when needed
  6. Show mercy
  7. Be an example
  8. Feed them
  9. Be proud of them
  10. Let them explore the world

I know I’m missing something, probably lots of things. And I know your list will probably look a lot different than mine, but I know I can’t be alone in wanting to have a foundation to stand on so that on the days when I’m feeling like a parenting failure, I can remind myself that when I have done my best then I’ve succeeded as a mom. 

But seriously, wouldn’t it have just been easier to include a user manual in every pack of diapers? 

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