Parenting Pep Talk is a series of guest posts all about encouraging other parents by sharing some of our happy moments, the advice that has worked for us and some positive words of encouragement.
Today’s post is from Jenny who blogs at Mom Loves Best.
1) Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
Hi, I’m Jenny, I’m the mother of two beautiful kids and the wife of a loving husband. We live in a small suburb in Southern California, and I have been a stay (and work) at home mom for the last 2 years.
2) How would you describe your parenting style?
I consider myself a bit of an enigma. On the one hand, I don’t take the responsibility of raising my children lightly; it truly is the most important job in the whole world. But on the other hand, I try not to take myself too seriously, either. Focusing too much on parenting perfection and children’s outcomes wraps up too much of my worth in their performance, and I have to remember that they are little people, not little projects. They are in my care to raise, teach, and guide, but also to enjoy. So instead of trying to parent right, I just try to do it well. So maybe my parenting style is best described as “recovering perfectionist.” That’s a thing, right?
3) What’s your favourite thing about being a parent?
I love the little things: the expression on my daughter’s face as she’s working on an art project, or the way my son loves with his whole heart wide open. I enjoy watching their unique personalities develop, and the way my kids teach me to slow down, enjoy the small moments, and at the risk of sounding cliché, encourage me to be a better person. There’s nothing like seeing – and experiencing – life anew through the eyes of a child.
4) What piece of advice have you been given that you found especially helpful?
The best advice I’ve ever received is “You are the perfect parent for your children.” In those moments I feel like I’m failing, or I don’t think I measure up to other moms, I remember that it’s not a game of comparison. They aren’t parenting my children; I don’t need to act like I’m parenting theirs. Each child is a unique creature, and I have the skills to parent mine in the exact way that they need – even if it doesn’t feel like it all the time!
5) What one piece of encouraging advice would you give to a new parent?
There are so many pieces of advice I’d love to give, but there’s one thing I think every new mom needs to hear. I’d sit her down, look into her eyes, and tell her: Sweet mama, I know the weight you feel. I know the heaviness of new motherhood and how terrified you are of making an irreversible mistake that will “ruin” your child for life. But let me tell you: give up the pursuit of perfection. It does nothing but overwhelm you and rob you of the joy of this season. So love your baby. Do your best. But don’t pursue perfect. Your best is good enough, and your sanity is priceless.
6) Can you share one of your favourite parenting moments?
My favourite parenting moment actually just occurred recently. I was driving with my kids sitting in the back seat, having a conversation about nothing in particular, and my oldest made a quick, witty comment that was actually funny! It was such a fun reminder that my kids are growing up – and I love the people they’re becoming.
7) Anything else that you would like to share to encourage other parents?
Enjoy the little years, but ignore the guilt-inducing pressure to “enjoy every moment.” It’s not an easy balance, but work to find yours. The little years are sweet – absolutely – but the years that follow are no less special. Each season of parenting has its own highs and lows. Embrace and enjoy the highs, and do your best to endure the lows, knowing that they won’t last forever.
P.S. If you’re looking for parenting books to guide you on your journey, check out this roundup I did with 45 other bloggers and authors.
You can also find lots of great information about feeding your baby on my blog.
Thank you Jenny for sharing your positive parenting moments and the advice you have found helpful.
You can connect with Jenny on the following social networks:
If you’d like to share some of your positive parenting moments on the Parenting Pep Talk, then let me know in the comments below and I’ll email you with more details.