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An honest reflection (proof that you're a better parent than you think)

For the doubtful parent who's discouraged and worried their best isn't enough, this post is for you. CLICK to read the full article.

Some of my happiest “mommy moments” are when I hear my cute little guy parrot back something that he clearly learned from me. And some of my most disheartening “mommy moments” are when I hear my cute little guy parrot back something that he clearly learned from me. The good moments...

  • Kind, patient words from the backseat, “Go ahead car,” waving the other cars ahead with his little hand.
  • Genuine words said with a smile, “Of course!” when I ask him to help me with something.
  • Calm, understanding words, “It just happens,” as he looks at his blankie that just got dirty and now needs to be put in the laundry.
  • Caring and concerned words, “You doin’ okay, Mom?” as he literally wipes away my tears with a tissue.
And the not-so-good moments...
  • Impatient, borderline-angry words, “Mom, just hold on!”
  • Frantic, rushing words, “Just one time Mom,” when I asked if I could help him with something.
  • No words. Just a loud, frustrated sigh.
I call Shadyn my little mirror because he’s an honest reflection of my own actions and words. Sometimes I don’t like what I see and have a renewed dedication to be better. Other times I’m grateful for the reminder that there are at least some things, as a mom, I’m doing right. Either way, he brings into focus some of the things in myself I'm not as quick to acknowledge. An unexpected gift that comes with parenthood.

I still remember teaching Shadyn, months ago, about saying sorry. We talked and read a story about it and even played a little game about saying sorry. He’s our little sponge and most things we take the time to talk and teach about stick in his little mind. This one was no exception.

The very next morning, he looked at the mess he’d made with his breakfast and said, “Sorry.” Then in his excited little 3-year-old voice, “Mom, I say sorry! Just like our book!” He was so proud. I was so proud. And I was thrilled at the lesson already learned. Pretty soon, he became so good at saying sorry, he was apologizing when anything happened - even if he had nothing to do with it. Each time I’d tell him, “You don’t need to be sorry.” After all, he wasn’t responsible for me forgetting the bread while we were at the grocery store!

Days later, water covered our entire kitchen floor after I knocked over a full glass from the counter. “Sorry!” I said (to no one in particular) then got on my hands and knees to mop up the water as quickly as I could. My cute boy rushed over to crouch on the floor next to me, then sweetly patting my arm said with total sincerity, “You don’t need to be sorry.”

Nothing but reassurance and love coming from my little mirror :) So to the doubtful parent: Next time you’re telling yourself you’re not good enough or are questioning the influence you’re having with your kids, please remember: you’re doing better than you think. Because all those sweet, wonderful things you see in your kids… they’re a reflection of you.

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