Trust me, I know the past year has been a hard one. Between the unusual times that have our kids stressed out while schooling from home, and just the inability to connect with people the way we did even a year ago, it can feel like a lonely journey. Know that you aren’t alone. No matter how the day is starting for you, I hope the following challenge to spring clean your parenting will brighten your day.
If you aren’t a parent, you definitely know one. I’d like to encourage you to share some, if not all, of this information to encourage a parent you are close with.
Spring Clean Your Parenting
In this world of Pinterest and Facebook, it’s hard to be a parent and not compare yourself to others around you. I’m sure that it was the case in many generations before, but now we get the pleasure of seeing everyone’s happy moments plastered all over social media, and birthday party ideas and DIY kids crafts on Pinterest that we know we will never be able to accomplish.
The truth is, while we may feel insecure in our own not-so-happy or uncreative home, we have to remember that no one is perfect. Most likely, that smile on those happy kids faces came right before their mom had to discipline them for bickering, and the DIY project so perfectly cataloged on Pinterest, probably doesn’t show the handprint one child placed on the wall right after the camera stopped clicking. (Historically, that’s how craft projects in my home have ended.)
We don’t want to admit that we are imperfect parents, especially out there on social media for all to judge. But the truth is: we aren’t called to be perfect parents, but to simply raise our children to the best of OUR abilities, not the abilities of those around us. When we take that to heart, we can quash the parenting comparison thought process that runs so rampant through our lives, and focus on raising our children and celebrating with other parents in their abilities to raise theirs as well.
Parenting Spring Cleaning Tasks
Take time today to think of the ways that you compare yourself to those around you. Think about it as you are looking through your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram feed. Recognize that the time you spend comparing yourself to another parent is time that is taken away from celebrating with that parent in their successes, and will leave you miserable about yourself. I don’t know about you, but when I’m miserable, I’m not much good to my husband or my kids.
Make the decision today to stop comparing.
I don’t know about you, but between homework, after-school activities, church groups, appointments, and play dates, it’s easy to become overwhelmed as a parent with all that the kids are involved in. Consider what you can eliminate from your child’s schedule this spring. I promise that your child’s future won’t be destroyed by you allowing them to have a little more time of rest and freedom at home. In fact, your child will probably love the opportunity to spend more time with you.
(For those with kids still at home.) Have a hard time keeping track of chores, papers, and kid’s activities? Create a family communications zone somewhere in your home with a calendar, communications board, and chore lists. Get your kids involved in setting it up and watch them take ownership of their own schedules. See my post from January on this very topic.
Schedule a date with each child. Put it on the calendar you just put up in your family communications center. This date should a kid-specific outing, in that, if your child hates the library, that doesn’t make for a memorable experience. Justin makes an effort each month to take our oldest to McDonald’s and simply let her talk. She loves it and he gets to hear about the happenings in her life. He takes our youngest to the woodworking store, and that’s one of her favorite places to go. Each child looks forward to those times with Dad one on one, doing something that they love.
After carefully considering today’s tasks, respond to the following question in the comments below.
QUESTION: In what way can you encourage another parent today?
Today’s cleaning tasks: Living Areas
If you are joining us for the cleaning portion of this challenge, the tasks are listed below or can be printed here.
Living Area Cleaning Tasks:
- Clear cobwebs
- Clean light fixtures
- Vacuum all curtains, lampshades, and couch cushions (take care to vacuum under the cushions, too!)
- Move all furniture and vacuum under it – if you have hardwood floors, take this time to mop these areas as well.
- Wipe down all surfaces, including the fronts and legs of tables and fireplaces
- Spot clean the walls
- Wipe the windowsills and baseboards
- Wipe all framed art
- Dust knickknacks
I know this has been a lot of information, but taking the time to reflect on our parenting can make a world of difference in our lives and the lives of our children. I’m so happy you joined me today and can’t wait to see your responses on social media. If you have any questions or need any assistance, feel free to contact me personally.