There is NO Perfect in Parenting!

Perfect is NOT reality, especially in Parenting!

I had two daughters who had babies last year – one in June and one in Dec. One daughter suffered from postpartum anxiety, not to be confused with the blues or even depression. It was excruciating. Just functioning was a challenge. Besides the new baby, she had one preschooler and one grade-schooler.

Despite her struggles with health and energy, I saw her remember what her kids needed to do to be ready for school. I watched her get them to their events and lessons. I saw her force herself to school with her new baby to participate in a classroom party with her daughter.

My other daughter has tweens, teens, and grade-schoolers. She was up multiple times a night. But one morning bright and early I witnessed this: she was in the kids’ rooms getting them up, reminding them of what they needed for the day, giving cautions about getting to work on time and bringing instruments home after orchestra so they could practice. It was all in her head, and despite her baby fatigue, she was letting it out at the right time, with the right tone. There is no getting around it,



My sons-in-law also experienced the addition of new babies into their families. One is in the last stages of genetic blindness and was ill at the time of the birth. However, he donned a mask and was by his wife’s side, not just during the delivery but until his wife came home a day later, even though fluorescent light burns his eyes. Then he returned, mask in hand because the baby had a severe bilirubin issue. His eyes burned as he endured hours of blue light. I watched him get up at night to feed his son, diaper, and cuddle him.

The other dad had a two-plus hour compute every day into the city. He left work early so he could get home sooner. When he got back, the load shifted from his wife’s shoulders to his own. He made food, played Candyland, fed the dogs, tucked kids in bed, and comforted his wife. There is no getting around it,



Neither of these couples is doing it perfectly. There are down days, moments of resentment, and checking out. BUT they get up daily and do it again because they love each other and their families. There is no way around it,


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One Response to “There is NO Perfect in Parenting!”

  1. I loved this article. I raised/am raising 9 children and there have been plenty of difficult days and there still are. Now there are grandchildren, adult children with their own struggles that they come home with. My energy seems to be inversely proportional to my hard earned wisdom. Thankfully I don’t have to “fight” every challenge anymore because I’ve been around the block a couple of times and can give myself grace. I know now that it won’t be the end of the world if a child shows up at church in fuzzy bunny slippers, we eat quesadillas for family dinner, we invite someone into our home when there are crumbs on the kitchen floor and dirty dishes in the sink (there always are! I can maintain order for about 5 minutes), or I turn down invitations when I don’t have the energy for outside commitments. The kids at home maybe have slower parents, but we keep showing up and maybe sometimes we avoid pitfalls we’ve fallen in before! This post was encouraging and made the whole past of messy parenting feel somehow glorious. Thank you!

    I would love to hear your ideas, sometime, about adult children rejecting the family values and traditions they were raised with. We have worked through a lot of our old ideas about handling these unexpected twists and turns of parenting and have preserved our relationships (mostly) with our grown children, but I would like to be closer to them and share myself honestly with them and their children who have different lifestyles than we do. I think that if I keep being my authentic self and loving them where and how they are, that things will continue to grow in a good direction. I’m not always sure what this looks like. Questions: what about my younger children? Will they think that our standards don’t apply once they reach adulthood? How to help them not be critical of their siblings while seeing their choices clearly- when it seems like the older children have more freedom discarding mom and dad’s values?

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