What makes a good parent?
It’s an interesting question isn’t it? It’s not birthing a baby because only one half of the parental unit does that generally speaking. And there are plenty of people that do birth a baby but then go on to not care for that child for whatever reason.
And it’s not genetics because there are so many wonderful parents who don’t have a direct genetic connection to their child.
Is it love? Well, I’m not sure as there are people that tick most of the boxes for a great parent but they don’t particularly love their child.
So what is it? A burning desire to see their child the happiest they can possibly be? I think so. A parent would literally give their life to save their child. The instinct in them would push their child out of the way of a moving car and take the hit themselves. It’s a desire to see them smile above all else. It’s driving untold hours to take them to clubs, or swimming lessons or for doctors appointments. It’s making appointments to see teachers and maybe having playdates when the last thing in the whole world you feel like doing is looking after someone else’s noisy offspring as they burn off energy after a long day at school.
What makes a good parent is putting someone else’s needs above your own without a second thought. It’s knowing that you don’t want to do something, that there are a hundred other things that you’d rather be doing but doing it anyway for your child putting aside your own feelings.
It’s fighting for them with every last ounce of your strength. It’s shouting loudly on their behalf when they have no voice and standing up for them no matter what. It’s putting aside your own fears and insecurities to be a role model for them, to show them there is nothing to worry about, even when you are quaking inside.
It’s sitting through hours of dance rehearsals, or piano lessons or swimming galas.
It’s choosing mind numbingly boring films you know they will love.
It’s getting up in the middle of the night when you feel that your eyes are burning and your head has been hit by a sledge hammer but dragging yourself from your warm bed despite all that because you know they need you.
There is so much more to being a parent then just feeding and clothing a child. Do I think that I am a good parent?
Well, that totally depends on the day you ask me, or even the time of day! Sometimes I think I’m absolutely rocking the parenting thing, when I am making good food, crafting, answering questions, being funny, making up stories and generally making life as fun and happy as possible for them.
Other days, I am distracted, snappy and wanting to be somewhere, anywhere else.
Overall though? I think I’m a pretty good parent. I love my children, there may not always be paired socks, and occasionally, (shock horror!) there is no decent after school snack, but I would do anything to ensure their happiness and well being. I try my best.
What do you think makes a good parent?