Archive for March, 2011

Maybe Parenting Isn’t As Hard As We Think It Is

Carla: I know, I know! It is so hard, so draining, so taxing, so….much sometimes. I know. But I also wonder if we add layers of stress on ourselves that don’t really need to be there. I do–my husband tells me this often.

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day and mentioned that I wake up at least once a night worrying about our children. I worry that I didn’t spend enough time with them or that I’m not watching what they eat or that they are spending too much time in front of the TV or that we haven’t had enough family time. When this happens, I literally have to talk myself down. I run through a little tape in my head that says, “They’re fine. They will be just fine.”

My friend, who is a father, said this has never, ever happened to him.

Today I happened upon this video clip from David Brooks of The New York Times. He has a new book out that I believe I’m going to have to read. That is if I can remind myself that it’s okay for my children to find something else to do while I read a book.

So what do you think? Is it okay for us to be “good enough” parents?

Caryn: I’m all about being good enough. Honestly, I can’t relate at all to waking up in the night worried about my kids. It’s not that I don’t worry about them—just not to that level. But I do tend to go too far to the laissez faire extreme. I figure they’ll be fine.

Until I see a show about a serial killer. And then realize his (or her) mom probably figured he (or she) would be fine too…. Or, when my son punches his sister and I worry I’m raising a wife beater. Or, when my daughter gets a little too google-eyed at McDreamy in “Enchanted” and I worry she’ll be too ridiculously romantic….

All this to say, I don’t wake up and worry. What does this say about me? (Because, really, it’s ALL ABOUT ME!)

Carla: Great. It really is just me. I hate it when my husband is right.

I know that most of my worries are irrational and I think most of them come out of my lingering fear that things are going too well for it to last. But that might be a conversation better saved for my therapist….

Anyway, I took great comfort in David Brooks up there and I hope you all do, too. But I still want to know what you do that makes parenting harder than it has to be?