We're just doing the best we can
We’re just “doing the best we can”....
For the most part, we very much are doing the best we can with what we know and our circumstances. However, are we kind of just normalising being mediocre parents by saying that statement? Does it let us off the hook to not put in effort?
I ponder this thought all the time.
To raise great children takes effort! Does effort mean you have to be "on" all the time and a slave to your child? DEFINITELY NOT!
Does what we do as parents determine the quality of life our children have? ABSOLUTELY!
There’s definitely decent sized percentage where we actually just are not doing the best we can, and I am certainly guilty of it to.
Parenthood is one of the most challenging and beautiful, draining yet fulfilling and overwhelming (at times) journeys. There's always something we could be doing but what stands out as a priority to you? For me, it's mindset, health, fitness and then academia; forever learning. What is the point being smart and successful if you are unhealthy and don't know how to find happiness? How do you reach success if you don't love yourself, truly love who you are?
I have a little mental checklist I run through each day to ensure I meet the bare minimum of care; water & adequate hydration (I do count hydrating foods in this category), exercise/movement, mindset (affirmations of course), healthy food, time outside vitamin d and nature playing, creative time, sleep routine, cuddles and books to name a few.
As I grow, I like to choose the words I use wisely and so the word 'perfect' doesn't sit right with me anymore. I don't like to use the word perfect, yet I do believe we are already perfect in our own way. I do not strive to be the perfect mother because, as aforementioned, for the most part I am doing the best I can, and in my own perfect way.
I like the mix of structure & spontaneity in our home. Structure means I know what to do every day to support great health, creativity, productivity and enhance our overall well-being, and the spontaneity means I am showing my kids how to be flexible, say yes to adventure and trying new things.
Holidays are a little different, structure dissipates and spontaneity is in full force, and I've learnt to revel in this! It also means I "encourage" the heck out of the kids to make the most of every single day and embrace each new opportunity that is presented, to make the most meaningful memories and experience of life.
If you've read my stuff before, you'll know I am a massive advocate for travel, I believe it is the best education. I love new adventures and having a change of scenery. Every time I travel, near or far in the world, I have always tried to ensure I remember to be present in every moment and make the most of every day. This made the hard times easier and the good times GREAT. Once it's over, it's over and you don't get that time back.
What we expose our children to from a young age, shapes the type of person they will grow to be and how they will contribute to this world. From different environments and experiences to trying new food and activities. But remember, our diet is more than just eating heathy food, it's people we are surrounded by (family, friends, teachers) and their behaviours/language, what we watch on tv/movies, listen to on the radio in the car/spotify, podcasts, games, conversations (positive or negatively geared), how much time we stare at a screen v time spent in nature.
I think there is no greater feeling than watching your kids have fun, "encouraging" them to do something they "don't want to do" and seeing them bloom.
To me, this means I am doing better than mediocre and I am intentionally doing the best I can. And what do ya know, they BOTH had FUN on our Easter vacay away from the city, trying new things they'd never done before, eating new fantastic foods, moonlit walks and a whole lot more.
The more we did, the easier it got to "encourage". Whilst this is such a small example, it can translate into many different areas and the FRIST BIGGEST thing I noticed is that it helped to build and support a positive mindset, so when a new opportunity presented itself, it was met with a "yes" of excitement straight away, pondering the possibilities as opposed to digging those heels in looking at a new opportunity in a negative light.
The SECOND BIGGEST thing for me, was witnessing the other child making small changes and still implementing what was learnt days later without my prompts. This was my proof that persistence is rewarding and consistency is life-changing.
Pick your battles wonderful parents, figure out when to give that expenditure of energy into something and when it's not necessary. We are doing the best we can but let's just step it up a notch and do better when we can.
Here's to great health and healthy habits!