Striving to be the picture perfect parent is something all parents go through.
We do our best and hope that our children have their needs met and more.
When you have your first baby everyone wants to give you advice; some you take
and some you don’t. Reading parenting books did provide me some insights but
the most effective guide was within me. It has always been my intuition. Let’s
be realistic, we all know when we are the model of ideal parents; fresh baked
apple pie wafting through a spotless and pristine home, while the children sit
reading their books with smiles and a warm glass of homemade cocoa placed
in front of them. We also know when the stress and sacrifice of parenting,
and the mountain of responsibilities turn us into a shell of a parent, walking
around with a robotic tick. Or worse yet, we take our frustrations out on our
families and then need to beg for forgiveness and teach our children that
we are simply human and can’t live up to perfection.
Can and should perfection be the goal in parenting? Or do our
children need to see us in all states, good or bad, so they feel that they
too can rise and fall?
As I was sitting in my friend, neighbor and fellow mother’s hot tub, having
some girl time, we started to talk about achieving balance as a parent. She has
regular gatherings for all of her girlfriends-which are always a fabulous way to
connect us and give us a vehicle to gather and be a sisterhood of women. I know
we all appreciate her time and effort to make these events happen. I
had always been inspired by her ability to maintain balance and a sense
of well-being as a parent and Day Home Business Owner. I asked her if
she would be my first interview for today’s blog about Parenting.
The Perfect Balance: An Interview with Erin about Parenting
Here is the script:
Emily: Do you feel you achieve balance as a parent?
Erin: My husband and I are equal partners; employment, housework, cooking
caring for the kids-all of it. We also both have hobbies that we pursue outside
the home so there is no jealousy or guilt if one of us does something alone. There
is an equal balance for both of us.
Emily: How important are your friendships in keeping you balanced?
Erin: Having a network of friends allows more opportunity to balance my
life; I have a diverse friendship group. Each woman provides me with a different
type of relationship. Each one plays an important role in my life.
Emily: Is it difficult to work at home with 7 or more children all day?
Erin: I never feel overwhelmed with it because I always have some time
with friends, an event, a party, a girl’s night to plan or look forward to.
The knowledge of this keeps me going and it keeps me out of my funk.
Emily: What would your life look like without this circle of friends?
Erin: I would feel depressed, trapped…In the past I didn’t have a network
of friends and I was on anti-depressants. I was a ‘young mother who never
went out’. When I first moved to this town I was uncomfortable with my
body, this made me self conscious and I retreated within myself, afraid to
approach other moms. Some of the moms in this town seemed unusually pulled
together. I definitely felt like I could’t approach.
Emily: When did things change for you? What was the turning point?
Erin: I lost weight and had a total transformation; then I began my
“Friend Mission”. My new found confidence gave me the courage to
seek out friendships. Here’s how it went; I would see her across the
crowded playground and say to myself “she’s gonna be a friend.”
It worked about 50% of the time.
Emily: What made these women approachable?
Erin: Part of it was that I changed. I even went off the anti-depressants
successfully. Here is the Approachable Friend Profile:
1. A little stressed
2. Clothing average, nothing too swanky
3. Hair a bit disheveled
4. Muted make-up
5. A great sense of humor
6. No censor.
As a first impression, these qualities made me feel more comfortable,
like I didn’t have to be afraid I was going to be judged.
Emily: Do you take the time for self care?
Erin: I didn’t before the transformation but now I definitely do.
Going and doing things I love and being with friends are part of
that self care. Caring for myself caused a boost in my confidence and
then I was more approachable as well. I became a happier person.
Emily: How do you know when ‘the funk’ is coming on?
Erin: I feel tense, snappy, I feel a black cloud over my head,
my eyes are beginning to glaze over, I’m an unresponsive ball of
nothingness on the couch-if it is severe-with a glass of wine or a
half eaten chocolate bar and unintentional dreadlocks.
Some tidbits of our conversation after that:
All parents have stress, sacrifice, issues, fears…It is a universal
feeling. When you put on a mask and conceal the struggles you
may become more isolated and detached-then you become unapproachable
to others. They are afraid to be judged or that they can’t live up to your
ideals of perfection.
Even the seemingly ‘perfect mom’ has the strong desire to reveal
her true self.
As parents we need to band together and support one another.
This helps us achieve the balance we all desire. It is also
very healthy for our children to see us happy and balanced so they too
can achieve it for themselves. Being a martyr can harm not only
ourselves, but can damage our children presently and down the line.
Children have a stronger intuition and are closer to our source than
we are so they sense when we are out of balance.
Parents must stop judging one another and unite, it can be challenging
to balance such a crucial role, but if you do your best at least 80% of the
time, you’re doing well.
A Huge Heartfelt Thank You to Erin:
You are an incredible friend, my life is better for knowing you.
Peace, Love & Namaste