Being a parent is the most important, and sometimes most difficult, job we will ever have. There is pressure to do everything correctly but, unlike other jobs, there is rarely any feedback on how we are doing. Personally, I am quick to judge myself and usually fall short of where I would like to be. I work during the day while my children attend child care. Each evening is a constant struggle to make sure everyone eats, do a little cleaning, wash the dishes, bathe the children and get them to bed, all while spending quality time with each member of my family.
If I were to do a self-appraisal of parenting, it would look something like this:
Punctuality: Unsatisfactory. I do not think I have made it anywhere on time since late 2009. (My oldest son was born early in 2010.)
Dependability: Needs Improvement. I would like to think I am dependable but I tend to forget things lately.
Teamwork: Needs Improvement. I have a problem with delegating. I tend to take on all responsibilities without the ability to complete them in a timely or satisfactory manner.
Job Knowledge: Needs Improvement. I have no idea what I am doing (at least that is how it feels). This parenting thing is not easy!
Quality of Work: Needs Improvement. There are a few things I do really well. I may or may not be faking the rest.
Planning and Organizing: Unsatisfactory. I have a planning and organizing board on Pinterest. Does that count?
I decided to go right to the source and ask my 4-year-old son what he thought I did best. He told me that I do everything great. I asked some other moms to do the same and they also received an overwhelming response from their children that they do everything well. Maybe we should listen to our children.
When I thought about a performance appraisal from my son’s perspective it looked like this:
Punctuality: Outstanding (and not just because my sons cannot yet tell time). It is amazing how fast I can get to my son when I hear a crash followed by crying.
Dependability: Outstanding. My son knows I am there whenever he needs me. Sometimes he comes out of his room at bed time multiple times just to be sure, though.
Teamwork: Outstanding. My son recently told me that we make a great family. We must be doing something right.
Job Knowledge: Outstanding. I am able to kiss away injuries and give the best squeezie hugs.
Quality of Work: Outstanding. My sons are happy. What better indication of quality could there be?
Planning and Organizing: Outstanding. I make sure my son is never without an item for his weekly show and share for preschool. That is very important to him.
I asked my son if there was anything he thought I could do better. He told me that he would like it if I would practice basketball with him more often. That is easy enough and we will both benefit.
I decided I will now check in with my children on a regular basis to see if there is anything I can improve just to make sure we are on the same page. I like the open dialogue it invites, even though it is just a simple question. I have to admit, I will probably continue asking what I do best as well. It is always nice to hear something positive about a job I take so seriously. I will remind myself that my son thinks I am doing a great job as a parent whenever self-doubt and frustration start to set in.
Take a moment today to celebrate the hard work you do as a parent. Maybe even stop to ask your child what you do best. You just might be pleasantly surprised with the answer!
2 thoughts on “Parenting Performance Appraisal”
I love it! Very teacher-like. I would probably judge myself more harshly than others. But here’s another scale to consider — the one that my kids’ school uses (it’s Montessori). They list out skills and say “Introduced,” “Practicing” or “Developed.” Very non-judgmental, dontcha think?
This is fantastic advice! I can’t believe I never thought to ask the kids their opinion on my “job performance.” Let’s hope I get rave reviews like you did…