You’re Not Perfect: Accepting Your Parent Self
You’re not perfect. And neither am I. Not a perfect person. Not a perfect parent. And thank goodness for that!
A few years ago I went on a business development retreat where the group leader put us through many of the same steps I guide my parent clients through. Think about yourself: where you are right now emotionally and physically; what fears, concerns and anxieties are getting in your way; what are your goals as a parent (or in this case individual and business owner); what are your goals for your child (or business); what do you know about your child (the people that you work with); and with all of that information, let’s make a plan to empower you to have a happier family, a more fulfilling experience as a parent, and address current challenges. In my situation that translated to maintaining a happy life, being a passionate, focused, dynamic professional, and offering a variety a outstanding services to meet the needs of the families and children with whom I work.
As I continued to delve into my answers to these questions, considering my past and my future, it hit me: I’m not perfect. I recognize that what I’m sharing is pretty personal, but the truth of the matter is that this is a conversation I have with parents all the time. This desire to be a perfect parent plagues so many already-terrific parents. In my youth, I thought I should be perfect. And in my mind, perfect looked one way. Perfect was taking this job, or being able to talk about this specific accomplishment, or that particular goal met. Well I learned that those things don’t always happen. That personal success isn’t about the “how it should look” definitions, it’s about what works for me, in my life. I truly believe that this is where my pinnacle message for parents came from. It’s not about what the experts say is the “right” way to parent or the “how it’s supposed to be” messages parents are bombarded with all the time. It’s about YOUR family, YOUR child, and YOUR parenting goals.
Clarity about the questions I mentioned earlier doesn’t always come easily. And when you’re not sure how to put it all together, a professional can be a terrific support. During sessions, I help parents think about their answers to these questions and whether or not their answers are in line with their actions. When they’re not, we create an action plan for making positive changes, empowering parents and creating happier families and more successful children. At the end of the day, it’s not about being a “perfect” parent; it’s about being the best parent you can be and having a plan that works for you.