How to be a great parent
Lets start with the very basics. A good parent provides food, clothes, shelter, care, and love. That sounds pretty easy doesn't it? Are you kids fed, do they have clothes? Do you do your best to put shelter over their head (all kinds, temporary to owning a house)? Are their medical needs met? Do they feel like they are loved?
But what about their mental growth? Spiritual growth? Physical growth? Doesn't addressing those needs make me a good parent?
If one believes that every child should be in one activity a year, play an instrument, and willingly goes to church in order to make that in the least a parent who is trying to be a good parent. It leaves out so many who cannot afford those things, or never grew up with religion, or don't want to participate in religion.
So then what about interacting with the kids daily? Meeting emotional needs.
Daily interactions does not mean constant attachment to the hip. You did a lot of that when they were babies and were nearly worn down by bed time. As kids get older they are fine to learn to play by themselves, they need time to make choices- good and bad, and they are fine if they are bored. Otherwise all of the working mothers and fathers are bad parents because they are at work instead of with their kids, ignoring every other circumstance.
Well, I yell at my kids? Doesn't that cause them distress and harm?
Yelling is not ideal. My psychologist has told me to work on "seething on the inside". But you are a new mom. Just because your kid is 14 years old every day you are still a new mom to that child and are learning as your progress daily. If you yell at your kids, when you are done yelling at them and they finally do what they were supposed to do talk to them rationally and if needed apologize for loosing your temper. Teaching children how to apologize is a skill that is under rated in society.
My photos are never as cute as my families, or parties are never as good as the friend's. It makes me feel guilty I don't do more cute things with my kid.
Social media is the worst thing to happen to moms. We are always falling short or going to great lengths to be a 'good' mom for the party and have the perfect picture that gets 200 likes. Give the kids Nerf guns, safety glasses (protection), 500 darts (compatible with Nerf) and a place to shoot each other, and you will be the coolest mom. Pair it with a pizza and store bought cupcakes and your child will always remember that party.
I don't take photos very often.... I have missed capturing some of the cute moments in their life.
You may not have captured the moments but you have witnessed them, you were present with the kids while they were doing their best being a kid. Having photos is great, but you can always do something else to remember the event. Write a Facebook
post, blog, or send yourself an email with what just happened. or just depend on your memory and the kids' memories when everyone grows up. Someone will remember different parts of growing up and the holes will get filled in with laughter.
Ok at the end of the day do your kids love you? They may not like you but do they know they are safe with you and will always be loved? If that is a yes then you are a great parent. No matter what anyone else (including me) says.