I heard a sports announcer from ESPN radio say that one shouldn’t want to be a good parent so they can be better than their parent, but should be or wish to be a good parent because they want to. As he said it over and over again, I couldn’t help but agree with him.
Parenting is not a competition or a status to be maintained, but a dedication to raising a child to the best of our abilities; even when we fall short as we sometimes do.
It’s a known fact that many of us didn’t like the way we were raised and swore that if we became parents, we’d be nothing like our own, but that being said, should it be the motivating mindset to being a good parent? I don’t think so. When most of us became parents, it was because we wanted a child in our lives. Nowhere in our course of thinking did we say, “hey, I wanna become a parent so I can show mine how much they sucked at it by being so much better than they are.” If anyone did actually think that, then I digress; however, I’m sure that wasn’t a popular thought by any stretch of the imagination. At some point, we may have said, “I don’t want to do certain things like my parents because it hindered more than in helped me”.
Seeing as there isn’t a handy-dandy instructional guide that we’re presented with upon choosing to be a parent, so our parents and maybe a relative here or there might have been the closest thing to instructional guides we could get. Yeah, there are manuals and how to book filling shelves in libraries and bookstores, but many are too generic to say if they’d really work on our own children. Hell, who the heck has time to read when you’ve got a kid in need of regular time and attention. Free time becomes a luxury and it’s rarely spent on handy-dandy books. For many, we’ll reach for the phone and consult another parent; our own included. Bottom line is that we’ll still do what the hell we want to do anyway, but just making that call doesn’t make you feel like such a loser.
I’ve said all of this to say, that making a decision to be a parent something to take seriously as it’s a job we can’t just quit from. We should chose the role with great consideration and disengage from the thought that we’re doing it because we want to be better than someone else. We should do it for the love of the child and for unwavering, unconditional, and unrelenting love period.