Sometimes it helps to pick your parenting battles.
Being a parent can be quite tricky, especially with hundreds of books, blog posts and people giving you advice every day of what you SHOULD be doing. Many of the insights would be useful in a perfect parenting world.
But sometimes it is helpful to pick your battles and let some of the frustrations and headaches go. In parenting my twins, I learned that I was spending WAY too much time worrying about these three things:
1. Food battles.
My twins are incredibly different, and food battles in our home have happened more often than I’d like to admit. When they were born, I was THAT mom. I made their baby food. I only bought organic free-range everything. I never bought anything in the store and ran my Magic Bullet ragged. They tried and ate everything. EVERYTHING.
Then, something happened. My son continued to eat anything I put in front of him and my daughter wanted to only eat like a stereotypical kid — pizza, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti.
I have no idea what caused the shift. They were raised exactly the same. He’s a try-anything boy, she’s a picky girl. I worked hard to always include something nutritious on her plate, and often sneaked blended carrots and kale into that spaghetti and mac and cheese.
I decided to not be too worried about it. I was just like her as a child. I was the pickiest eater you had ever met. And look at me now — only semi-picky! Smoothies are our friends.
This one is the most difficult. Numerous activities are available for children as early as age 3. My kids got involved early in gymnastics, karate, dance, baseball and ice skating.
I gave each a choice of two activities per season but no more. Without limits, it would be too overwhelming. I came to realize that they were young and had long lives ahead to experience these things.
3. Mommy guilt.
I’m still working on this one. How do you balance personal “me-time” and feel OK about being away from your kids? While my husband and I are good at having date nights and investing in our marriage, I found it challenging to go out on my own with friends, or have alone time, away from husbands and kids. It’s hard not to feel guilty.
I hope sharing these struggles is encouraging to you. As parents, we have to be kind to ourselves because parenting isn’t easy – but it is worth it! We all are doing the best we can raising our kids to be fantastic, well-rounded adults.