What Does Being A Good Parent Mean Anyway?
I know that today I’m being called to talk about parenthood but fuck it’s hard.
It’s hard because there’s so much judgement out there of what makes a good parent.
So much judgement around the sacrifices we should be making to make to earn our stripes as being worthy of raising children.
And when I look at the societal norms and especially my cultural norms, I fail dismally.
Women look at me appalled when I say I don’t cook for my family. They take turns to cook for themselves and each other.
They roll their eyes when I admit that I’ve stopped doing their washing and it’s up to them if their underpants are clean or dirty.
The feel of disapproval is palpable when I admit that I have no fucking clue where the school trip is going. I just know I need to buy him toothpaste and lunch for the road and pick him up Friday at 3 pm.
God knows that I’ve been criticised over the years for my complete selfish approach to parenthood.
I guess I could feel bad about the fact that I spent hours on my bike instead of sitting at home playing in the mud when they were smaller. I could feel guilty when I dish up my food and they’re still hours away from because one of them forgot to take the meat out this morning to defrost.
Man if I wanted to I could feel bad about tons of shit.
But I don’t.
I don’t because ultimately I gave birth to two magnificent, powerful, independent future leaders who are encouraged to question, to think for themselves, to step up and contribute to the household as they will step up and contribute to the world one day. They are encouraged to be completely self-sufficient so in the event of me taking my last breath, I know for a fact they can continue to thrive.
I hold my boys up to the same standard as I hold myself. I don’t pull the punches when I talk to them. I don’t ‘(s)mother’ them. I don’t get involved in their fights.
I live my life in a way that I pray serves as an example to them so when they have to make the hard choices one day they will say “it’s all good because ultimately I’m doing what I feel called to do to live my purpose and make a positive impact in the world.”
At least I hope that’s what they’re getting from my life.
I believe they are.
Which brings me to today — the first day of school holidays.
Okay I’m going to admit it, historically I’ve not been a huge fan of school holidays. They never seem to come at ‘convenient’ times do they? Especially not when I’m on fire to complete my yoga certification, launch Get Your Shiz Together, get back on my bike because we miss each other dearly, and work with a coach who is kicking my ass blue.
Previously school holidays were a complete nightmare of boredom and continuous fights that would raise the roof.
But then one fateful morning I decided to take control of this situation and like any spectacular mother turn it to my advantage.
That’s right — I became the Mommanator.
I renamed them Minion One and Minion Two and make the little darlings earn their chocolates.
What does this mean?
It means my boys have the additional opportunity to support their awesome queen of a mother by doing my laundry instead of just their own. They get to come out riding with me because with all that testosterone pumping through their legs they have become way stronger than me which means they provide the perfect carrots on intervals.
I have decided that I’m choosing to be an amazing mom by teaching them how to live their dreams one day whilst raising their children.
For too long I bought into the BS that we have to put our dreams on hold until our kids are grown up. For one thing, how the fuck will I ever have the energy when I’m that old??
I have decided that I’m being an epic mom by teaching them how to encourage fitness and health by dragging your resistant, sulking teenagers on a ride that secretly they thrive on, even though their egos might not agree with me.
I’m being a phenomenal mom by waking up happy regardless of whether my kids are at home or at school.
Because being miserable fucking sucks. I remember when they were small and I thought I had to be a good mommy by staying at home and giving up my dreams, my passions, my true self.
I will NEVER do that to my kids again.
Looking back I now realise that in fact what I was doing was nothing but suicidal and selfish.
What I was doing was putting my misery on their shoulders so that one day I could look back like so many parents do and say “I gave up my dreams for you” or “now that you’re all grown up I have no idea who I am”.
I’m not doing that shit.
Before you call child services on me understand that my kids have everything from me that will set them up for success: unconditional love, honest conversations, strong boundaries, life skills, support and there’s always food in the house for them to cook.
Why am I writing about this today?
I guess because I still see so many parents living under a cloud of guilt — the whole I‘m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t.
YOU decide what being an epic parent looks like to you and then you do it!
YOU decide what you want your kids to remember about you when you’re gone and then live it!
YOU decide how you want your kids to feel about you around the dinner table and then you show up for that!
But whatever you do, don’t you dare to use your kids as an excuse to play small, to put your dreams on hold, to procrastinate on everything that you say you desire but in fact you’re too bum ass lazy to do the fucking work to get the results (I raise my hand for historically doing this).
That’s not fair on you.
It sure as hell is not fair on your kids.
If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that my boys love me unconditionally and they’re fucking proud to call me mom. I can see it in the way they introduce me to their friends. I can see it in the way they walk beside me. I can see it when they jump on my bed to have a lazy conversation with me in the morning. I can feel it in their big bear hugs.
Do I think I’m a good mother?
I’m going to say a big hell yes!
Because I know that death is inevitable, existing is worse, and thriving is my choice.
With love always,
PS: Today at 4 pm NZCT we kick off with our very first live call in Get Your Shiz Together. You still have time to get in. Don’t use the school holidays as an excuse to not build your epic life. What better time than to do it in front of your kids and SHOW them that they can have, be and do anything they desire. Let’s play. Get Your Shiz Together today.What does being a good parent mean anyway?