I had one of those once a year 2-hour phone conversations with my brother a few weeks ago. We talked about many things, but one of the topics that came up was his concerns if could be a good parent. I, of course, told him that no one can ever really be ready to be a parent and knowing you don’t have it all together is a great first step. But I also told him what my husband and I remind ourselves all the time. “You don’t have to be a perfect parent, just a good enough parent.”
Everyone feels the pressure before the first child is born. Will we be good enough? What are we not doing right? I MUST DO EVERYTHING CORRECTLY! Will non-organic cotton sheets harm my child? What if I miss something? Something really major that I don’t even know about?
You have done things imperfectly and you will continue to not be a perfect person. You won’t be perfect, but you can be good enough.
The various parenting research we have done shows that kids are resilient, and will do okay in life as long as you don’t do something to horrible to them. So we aren’t the perfect parents, we don’t even try to be. We just try to be good enough.
Good Enough Parenting
I don’t insist my 5-year-old do his school work perfectly, just do it well enough.
When I have people over for dinner, my house is NOT spotless, but it’s usually good enough.
I don’t spend all my free time with my kids, but they know they are loved and feel free to share their little world with me, it’s good enough.
I can’t sing at all, but we sing songs together at night that I believe are important for my children to learn to aid their spiritual development. It’s great and it’s good enough.
I don’t hand make a gingerbread house, I bought one from Aldi and they loved it. I couldn’t even get the darn thing to stick together and each kid decorated a wall. Good enough.
I don’t make every meal from scratch, I try to cook from scratch about 80% of the time and my children will at least try most things. It’s good enough.
My Christmas tree is 4 feet tall and stuck on a side table behind the couch. My kids still think it’s a wondrous thing and they can’t pull it over on themselves. Good enough.