As you can tell by the picture, I wasn’t very good at planning my children’s birthday parties. I’m more the kind of mom that remembers birthdays just a week or so ahead. That is why I forgot the candles for my son’s sixth birthday as you can see in the picture.
In comparison, I’ve attended kid birthday parties with REAL ponies, three bouncy houses, and live entertainment.
Luckily for me, my first 20 years of parenting were prior to social media. Back in the day, the only times I felt the pressure to compare were at the occasional social event or in those annual holiday letters.
Fast forward to the world of Facebook and Instagram where we see beautifully themed families with perfectly poised children smiling in all their cuteness.
As I scroll through an abundance of “look at my great life” posts, I can’t help but think I’m not good enough.
Social media has added extra pressure to an already guilt-ridden parenting community. It feels like no matter how hard we try it’s never enough. There is always someone who is better at this parenting gig.
It only takes a few minutes of scrolling before one sees the amazing vacations, the family whose kid received the full scholarship to Harvard, and the pictures of professionally decorated houses.
But, the truth is that none of the inadequacies social media brings out in us are important. NONE of it really matters.
Honesty, integrity, love, joy, authenticity, humility, and a multitude of other values are what matter. We can raise our kids in the most modest home, never take a vacation, and still rock at parenting.
In the onslaught of pressure to be “that” parent, we must stay grounded in who we are and who we want our children to be.
My rule of thumb is this: as long as I’m getting it 70% right, all will be well.
There are three things we should remember when 70% doesn’t feel enough and we’re overwhelmed by comparison gremlins.
1) You are enough.
“For me, the opposite of scarcity is not abundance. It’s enough. I’m enough. My kids are enough.” ~Brené Brown
2) Kids are resilient.
As long as you show up with honest vulnerability, asking for forgiveness when necessary, kids are amazingly forgiving.
3) We’re comparing a full story with a fraction of reality.
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”~Steven Furtick
While none of us are perfect, our shortcomings do not define us. The desire to love with a whole heart defines good parenting.
What matters most is to keep showing up with courage and the intention to grow and learn.
I’ll leave you with the words of my friend, Mary Anne Radmacher:
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”