Parenting – Am I doing this right?


Every now and again I get a cold fear in my heart and I think shit what if I am really making a mess of this? What if my children grow up to be horrible? After all, I, sometimes, am horrible. They take after us don’t they? All I want is to grow compassionate, responsible, kind, intelligent, spiritual, fun and socially competent human beings. It’s not such a tall order is it? But when I look at that list of what I want them to be I can’t help but think surely I will fail in at least one of those categories. They can’t grow up perfect. And if they did you could probably add irritating to that list. Most perfect people I know are highly irritating.

I know what I am really trying to say is that I want them to be better than me. That’s it. Heavens, it’s a hard luck lucky draw isn’t it? Who you get as parents I mean. I am often chuffed that I was the lucky one chosen to raise these three boys. But cripes, they could have done better.

I watched a family on Facebook. I’ve watched them for a few years now. She is utterly gorgeous, he defines ridiculously good looking. Along came an equally beautiful child. Their Facebook photos showed me their sunny, happy glamorous life. Love, gorgeousness, happiness, sunny days. I say this all without one shred of snide contempt. They really are that beautiful and I love her heaps (don’t know him that well). Totally happy for their happy. Then I found out, guess what? Not so happy. There was a black dog sneaking around the shadows of their sunny days and you would never have known.

How many times will I have to learn that no matter what things look like from the outside (least of all from the Facebook outside), that you can’t judge a book and all that. How many times will I compare myself to an illusion to find myself wanting, only to realise that I’m doing just fine under the circumstances. I am not happy for Facebook Family’s unhappy, but I understand. It can’t be perfect, none of it can, otherwise the sunny days wouldn’t be as nice. If it’s all too easy, it might not be really worth it.


About traceyegan

I live in Australia with my husband and three boys. I work outside the home with other people's kids and inside the home with my own kids. It's a world of kids. All views are my own and do not reflect that of my employer.

One response »

  1. I can’t (and don’t) say this often enough: I think you’re a great parent.

    Seems unsurprising that we want to hide our failings. Well, most of us anyway. I know I fail at a lot of things, but you’re far braver than me at sharing your perceived failings.

    Love and hugs.

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