I am not a perfect step parent.
I am not a perfect wife. A perfect friend. A perfect sister. I am definitely not a perfect daughter but we won't even go there. Not a perfect grand daughter, nor niece. I make mistakes and go against my own values just like every other human being does.
Did I cover everything?
Appearances aren't just deceiving, they can be destructive. The image of happy, the image of "together", the image of finances, of love, of health, of success. They can make us feel inadequate and even resentful. Seeing others who seem to have it better can create exhausting and unrealistic expectations that go beyond inspiring us to do better. It's a pervasive problem that leaves us never feeling "at peace" and creates a blindness to all the good around us. Knowing deep down that every family out there has their less than stellar moments is something that I think is essential to being happy in your own life.
I also think a lot of other things that I fail in execution.
I think yelling at my children makes no effective change in their behaviour, and that it fuels bad feelings in my house that leads to more bad behaviour.
But that doesn't mean I never raise my voice.
I think that cloth diapering is a whole lot healthier for the environment and for my child's reproductive organs.
But that doesn't mean my children only ever wore cloth.
I think that formula is pretty darn nasty, contributes to health problems for what is now generations of people, is overtly responsible for deaths in less developed countries, and that if formula was a choice only made to avoid starvation of an infant, that would be the best situation for the health of humanity..
..billion dollar industry would fold if that dream were to materialize..
.. but stubborn as I am, my youngest two babies had formula at around 10 months to keep milk as their main source of nutrition until they were about 18 months old.
And I am perfectly okay with that.
I think that reading to my children everyday is a necessity of childhood.
but there are those days where bedtime happens without a story.
I think that fresh fruit and vegetables are extremely important, as are balanced meals without a lot of additives.
My children have had ice cream for dinner before. That was fun!
I think that a positive attitude and respecting the voice of children goes a long way to having a peaceful home.
But I do need to remind myself of that.
I think sweet potato fries are yummy and I am thankful for our deepfryer.
especially with mayonnaise to dip them in.
I strive to remember that children ARE noisy and like to sing annoyingly repetitive songs, that they need to be silly, need to be a little mean to eachother to learn how to solve problems, and that they are unshakably forgetful.
....Sometimes I forget.
I like my house to be clean.
but making that a reality means less time for myself and less time for my children. And those two efforts are pretty important too.
So I find ways to settle for slightly messy and be "okay" with that. And I fail at that too :)
I believe that every parent does the best job they can with the resources they have.
But sometimes I don't believe that of myself.
And when that best truly isn't good enough - If more people spoke up and helped struggling families find their way, took notice of addiction problems or serious mental illness and sought help for those who can not help themselves, that would be the way I see it for helping the parents whose "best" is falling short. The longer a behaviour is in place, the harder it is to change. If help came early to struggling parents, the potential to benefit their lives and the lives of their children increases.
If our society wasn't so obsessed with the appearances of having everything in life under control, then it would be a lot easier for individuals to seek help to better themselves.
Nobody is a perfect parent.