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Jul 29

How you know you’re doing a good job

Being a SAHM mom is odd at times, there’s no review process, you don’t get raises or good feedback from your boss. Most of the time, I’m just rushing from one crisis to the next, hoping that I’m not screwing the kids up in the process. I read a lot about parenting, about raising a boy or raising a girl, how to talk to them about sex, how to instill self-discipline, how to make spirituality a central tenant in their lives, how to feed them healthy food, how to encourage independence, how to instill a good work ethic, good manners, good morals, teach them about being kind and being smart, making intelligent choices, and please God, teach them to stop throwing their clothes on the floor when they take them off. How to brush your teeth, wash your hands, use the potty, sleep thru the night, how to apppropriately use sarcasm (which thankfully, they both seem to have an inate gift for).

I’m always wondering in the back of my head how I’m doing. Are my kids turning out okay? Are they going to be people you want to know, or people you talk about behind their backs? Will they be adults that are “good people” who are kind and smart and giving and funny – or will they be selfish, with a lazy work ethic and an attitude of entitlement? I do my best, but let’s face it, we’ve all known great parents who want to raise their kids right but end up… not doing that great of a job at it. It seems to me that there’s no way to tell, until it’s over, if you’re doing a good job of raising your kids or not. Like building a house, I’d imagine (not that I’ve ever built a house) – everything seems to be going okay, you really are working hard, but until it’s actually done, you don’t know how it’ll look. Or maybe bread – that’s a better example. You can put in all the ingredients, think you’ve kneaded it enough, let it rise high enough, but until you actually taste it, you have no real clue how it’ll turn out. I’ve made some crappy bread over the years…

The point of the post, before I got a little carried away, was that I actually got really good feedback from a total stranger the other day about Jessie and I can’t tell you how lovely it was to hear. Jess had gone to a birthday party for one of her school friends. There was a younger child there, about three or four, I’d guess, who was obviously younger than everyone else and didn’t know anyone at the party other than the birthday girl. I went to the party late (Marc had gone with Jessie, and I brought the other kids in at the end of the party), and the little girl’s mom made a point of telling me that Jessica had gone out of her way to make her daughter feel welcome and a part of things. She took the little girl under her wing, sat beside her on the train and during the little arts/crafts activity and the mom just wanted to let me know how kind and sweet and loving my daughter was. I felt so proud and relieved and happy – it was like getting a really good review and a raise 🙂

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