1 SIMPLE RULE TO BEING AN AMAZING Parent
just one thing to do, to GUARANTEE success, EVERY TIME.
I became a mother at a time in my life where everything was pointing away from this life changing chapter. I was constantly on a flight, or on the road. Whether I was headed to or leaving from home, I didn’t stay there long. Most trips homeward were around 3 days, and that’s if I was lucky. A week, and I was bored out of my mind. My time was spent jet-setting (and road-tripping) around various parts of the country and Texas. Pflugerville, Lake Jackson, Missouri, Ohio, California, Kansas. Most places I didn’t get to go to twice, and that was just fine by me. I was living what I thought was my “best life,” free of worries, or serious financial commitments; never in one place too long, and not too concerned with what would happen the next month, never mind the next day.
In Downey, California; in a hotel room, by myself, I sat on the bathroom floor and cried out in fear, desperation and just straight out confusion as I was confronted with a positive pregnancy test. I called my mom, not even thinking about the two hour time difference and how at midnight, she was long past asleep, and cried it out to her too. We confirmed the news a few days later when I returned home, and I was trapped in a flurry of emotion. What was I going to do? When I was home, I shared a cheap apartment with my boyfriend. I knew nothing about actually being a parent to a child. I grew up babysitting, but I always got to return those kids to their parents. They weren’t ever truly my responsibility.
All of this is to say, parenthood didn’t exactly come naturally to me.
Nine months later, I’m holding a beautiful, tiny, wonderful bundle of peachy joy in my arms. I cry, out of fear and wonder. My body has just done an amazing thing. I labored for twenty four and a half hours, and I’m finally holding the fruit of that labor. C is beside me, and we wonder over the small miracle that has just come into this earth.
Three or so months later, and I’m taking another test as a precaution- something hasn’t been right. Sure enough, the lines pop up, and I’m trapped in a whirlwind of emotion, all over again. And then, third time is the charm, when 18 months later, I feel like I’m trapped in some twisted version of Groundhog day.
What does a 19, 20, twenty-something year old know about parenting?
I know that no matter what, each and every day is a new opportunity. Whether that’s an opportunity to remind my girls just how much they’re loved, or to teach them something new. To make sure they know for a fact, with no hesitations or doubts, that I would do anything and give anything in this world to make sure they’re safe, healthy, and happy, as would their father. No matter their faults, no matter their misgivings. Through the discipline, the spanks, the time outs; anything and everything.
THE NUMBER 1 RULE TO BEING AN AMAZING PARENT?
Simple: it’s being there. It’s showing up, every day, and trying your damnedest to provide for your children. It’s putting aside the faults of yesterday to remember that they’re learning everything for the first time. It’s remembering that you, too, are learning and growing each and every day as a parent; a role you’ve never held before. Or, if you have, a role that you’re constantly having to grow and learn in. If you can show up, every day, with the goal in mind to be the best you can be, roll with any and all punches that life (or your toddler) throws at you, and just remember that eventually, bedtime WILL come? You’re doing it right. And at some point, your kids will (hopefully) thank you for that.