Become a More Authentic Parent

Authentic Parent

The reason I try hard to be genuine… By the way, this beautiful picture is not a good representation of reality.

 

You know what I love about adulthood? It’s certainly not paying the bills. I love that I have found myself. I no longer feel awkward (OK, not totally true) or feel like I’m always trying to make people like me. It feels good to no longer feel the need to pretend to be someone you aren’t.  It took me 30 plus (plus plus plus) years to realize this and 3 kids to teach me that lesson. Becoming a more authentic parent frees you.

There is so much we can learn from each other as parents. In fact, I had a neighbor tell me just last week that the more she told a story about a parenting fail, the better she felt. It is a life changing realization. You don’t have to omit truths. You no longer have to live behind this veil of perfectionism. Sharing your failings, misgivings, exasperations – they all have a place in your daily interactions with your parenting peers.  I have always maintained that everyone needs a safe place to share their parenting fails, get it out, and move on from the event.  None of us are perfect.  And frankly, keeping up the facade that we are is absolutely exhausting.  Being authentic takes little to no effort and it can only bond you to other parents.  And if it doesn’t, screw them.  They aren’t the kind of parents you want to hang out with anyways.

I will almost always be the first to tell you how I failed at something.  My default is to be (or rather attempt to be) both humorous and real.  So if you are having a bad day and I run into you at the store with your 3 crying kids who are all screaming about animal crackers, I’m going to tell about how I yelled at my kids for playing in dog poop so loud that I’m pretty sure the whole neighborhood heard it.  Or how I had to semi-kick one of the twins into their preschool room because it was such a nightmare at drop-off.   I’m going to tell you something terrible about my parenting skills so that you will share what may be going on with you.  Don’t worry, I’ll wait until your shopping trip is over so you can just get the heck out of there and then I’ll call you later or send you an email or a text and say “I’ve been there.  I get it. I bet you I can top it.”

But it’s not out of altruism that I’ll call to see if you are ok and to share something worse.  I actually feel good when I share this information.  It feels good to let others know that you aren’t perfect and to find out that they still like you!  Plus, something funny happens when you share your fail with someone.  They open up and share with you as well.  I have some pretty amazing parenting fail stories that don’t even belong to me.  And people feel comfortable sharing them with me because they know I’m not going to judge and the story won’t go forward with a name attached to it.  Because they know that I, too, have done something really stupid in my attempts to raise little humans.

So, share away ladies!  No judgements here.  Sign in anonymously and let me know about something that you aren’t so proud of.  Or heck, sign in with your real name and show the whole world that it is OK to not be perfect! I’ll start:

I really did shove one of the twins in the door of their preschool room with my foot. In front of the teacher. Then yell as I’m closing the door “Good luck with that one today!” And high tailed it out of there. And I may or may not have driven a good 10 minutes once before I realized a baby was not completely strapped in.


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Casey

Casey

COO/Copywriter at CLP Ent
Casey is a copywriter/COO in the Dallas Fort Worth area. She is married with 3 young children. She hopes to inform and entertain through honesty and humor.
Casey
Casey

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Comments

  1. I have a 7 week old and he is such an active baby, moves all the time, lifts his head, tries to sit up, etc, he is still so young I forget how active and on the go he is (even though he doesn’t get far, haha). Yesterday, my husband and I got home from being at the park, I unbuckled the baby from his car seat and let him sit there for a second so he would be more comfortable while I was taking the stroller around to put him in. I look in the window and there he is sitting sideways in the car seat staring at me. I almost died, my poor little baby how can I have been so stupid to think he will just calmly sit there in his car seat, of course he will try to get out! My poor husband grabbed him and rocked him and kissed him, giving me a killer look, nothing happened thank goodness, he wasn’t even crying but still I have learned my lesson as to never never never leave the baby in the car seat without him being strapped in even if it is for a second! I know with everything else to never leave baby unattended anywhere, trust me I don’t, but I thought he would be safe in the darn car seat all snug and cozy, protected by the deep sides, boy was I wrong! I told him this will never happen again. :( so terrible. Please don’t judge, I learned my lesson!

    • Absolutely no judgements! I can totally see how that would happen and maybe it happened with one of mine but I have a pretty big mental block on ages 0-6 month since the twins.

      And the death look from the hubs – mine has that down! You just wait until he does something and give it to him. We all make mistakes. Owning up to them and learning from them is truly freeing.

  2. My oldest daughter has a scar on her eyelid, right under the eyebrow. It’s decent-sized – something she’ll probably have her whole life, though it doesn’t mar her beauty. I like to think it will be a Tina Fey-ish thing that makes her fascinating when she’s an adult. Anyway, this is how she got it: My mother-in-law was visiting, and my husband and I were sitting with her around the kitchen table, enjoying some gin and tonics. My oldest came up and sat on her dad’s lap, and they started playing this game where she would throw herself backward, then he would catch her and haul her back upright. As with anything of this nature, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. One of the times she threw herself back, he pulled her up too close to the corner of the table. She whacked her eye. She wasn’t horribly injured, but an ER doc could probably have put some surgical glue in the wound to help prevent the scar. Problem was, none of the adults felt comfortable driving since we’d each had a couple of G&Ts. So we made the call to let it heal on its own, which it did, and quickly. Except now she has this scar, and the story of how she got it is sort of shameful to her mom and dad. Parenting fail!

    • Have you figured out how you are going to spin this one when she gets old enough to ask? I would have made the same call. Sometimes we are too fast to go to the ER… as my last insurance company would tell you about me ;)

  3. Joni Clifford says:

    Casey – love this! I do have many fails to tell but mostly want to let you know that I am very similar! in this way I am the first to tell my fails (much more so than my successes)! Because it’s *real*. I never really tried very hard with the perfectionism but I am surrounded by that! I live in metro DC so almost everyone here is about image much more than substance! Keep up the good work! Look for my posts soon about my fails too! =)

    • Joni – one of my best girlfriends lived in DC for a while. She said the same thing! That’s tough. Can’t wait to read your posts!

  4. Awe yes, the quest to be the perfect mom. I don’t know why we do that to ourselves. It’s so much easier to be imperfect. If I try to put up that front for too long, then i break down unprovoked… into the ugly cry…in the grocery store. Not pretty at all.

    • Crying in the grocery store? Check! I literally lost it at 2 different Targets within a week that I no longer go to. I’m pretty sure they remember me since all 3 of my kids and I left in tears. Who are these perfect moms?! Even Claire Huxstable (my favorite childhood TV mom) lost her shiz once in a while. So much easier to be yourself, flaws and all.

  5. Ah, the old “drop and run” routine. I love it. Some days, that’s what you have to do. And remind yourself that you’re paying good money for that teacher to take over for you (and hopefully teach your kid a thing or two) while you’re making bucks and paying bills.

    Great post!

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