There's No Trophy
Have you ever heard of "good enough" parenting? I came across this term several years ago when I wasn't yet a parent. It made sense, but there was no way I would truly understand this phrase until I became a parent myself.
Research shows that kids don't care if you get it perfect or even remotely close to right every time. Parenting, especially in our society, comes with this monumental amount of pressure to always have everything together and to do things the "right way." Whatever that means. I don't know about you, but I definitely felt this pressure. And you know what? I was the one putting this pressure on myself. I knew that society was going to do it and wanted to write off any societal expectations altogether. I did a pretty good job, so I thought.
Are you there? Are you present? A recent article I read cited a research study that showed the number one things kids remember is you playing with them.
You don't have to give them 100% of your attention every second of every day. Are they safe? Great. Are they in view? Cool. The can parallel play. Meaning, they can play by you while you do something else.
Some of the best advice I have ever read is that there is no parenting trophy. No one wins or loses at the parenting competition because there is no competition. I compare it to the idea of grief or pain. Grief and pain are so individualistic it's impossible to truly compare with someone else's. Parenting is not meant to be a comparison. It's a relationship between you and your kid(s). Allow yourself some grace and give yourself permission to not be that perfect Instagram parent.
Happy parenting everyone!