By: Daddy Nickell, Founder of Daddy & Co.
Every parent strives to be a “perfect parent,” but it’s just not a realistic goal and you’ll make yourself crazy trying to attain the unattainable, Perfect Parent Status. Instead, strive to do your best and try to be a great parent – mistakes and all!
Just in case you’re not sold on the idea of lowering the bar (ever so slightly), I’ve compiled a list of three reasons why being the perfect parent is overrated:
1. You’re not allowed to be selfish. If you’re busy being the “perfect parent” you’ll have no time for yourself. And I mean no time. If you want to be the best parent you can be that means taking excellent care of yourself, too, which ultimately means you’ll need a little you-time where you can kick-back, relax and let your body and mind rejuvenate. This you-time will help ensure you have more energy, focus and drive to be truly present during the time you spend parenting your child. It’s okay to be a little bit selfish from time to time in order to be the best parent you can be.
2. It’s impossible. Really though. There is no “perfect parent” out there doing every single thing right and raising the “perfect child.” It’s a fallacy, and it’s one we should all work to get rid of. If you strive for perfection you’ll likely raise a child who believes perfection is the key to love and acceptance, which is absolutely not the case. Mistakes are important, and learning how to make mistakes can be difficult for a child raised in a home where doing your best isn’t quite good enough.
3. What works for your neighbor won’t work for you. There is no magical perfect way to raise a child. If there were we would all be doing it that way, right? Every parent has a unique parenting style and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Figure out what works for you and your family and work hard to do the best you can. Stop comparing your parenting style to your neighbor’s; the constant comparison will inhibit your ability to be a great parent. Just focus on what you’re trying to accomplish and keep on keeping on.
I suggest all parents remove the whole notion of the perfect parent from their radar, set realistic goals for themselves and their family and work hard to attain those realistic goals. If you’re struggling with a certain aspect of parenting ask for advice from your own parents or supportive friends, and focus your attention on the aspects of parenting you do best. Asking for help or advice doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent; it means you care and are trying to be the best parent you can be!
Don’t get caught up in the never-ending race to be the perfect parent, just work hard and do your best.
Parenting Expert and father of 7, Robert Nickell (aka Daddy Nickell) offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the founder of Daddy & Co., delivery room duds and daddy gifts and apparel for every stage of fatherhood, and the Daily Daddy Blog. He is also the creator and producer of “My Life as a Dad,” the groundbreaking new web series that showcases celebrity fathers offering their personal experiences and parenting tips.