Being a parent is the largest most comprehensive job any person can ever hope to accomplish. It is a 24/7; lifetime role that begins at birth and its end point is undefined. Children come into our lives as these "possibilities" yet to be determined. Will she be a doctor, who will he marry, what college will she attend, who will their friends be, where will they live, and most important, can I give them everything that they need? As parents, we want to give our children "everything"; whether it's the toy that will make them smile or the best birthday party "ever", but with every attempt we question ourselves. The job is overwhelming because it does not have any instructions, so we never know "how" we're doing. With every question, parents are left not only without an answer, but rather, with more questions. The harder parents strive, the more it becomes clear that more effort is necessary.
Parenting is an interactive, social endeavor. We share it with our partners or spouses, we do it as an activity with our children, and the challenge is that we can never know if we’ve done enough or even more importantly, if we’ve done it “right”. To be a parent is to commit to “trying”. By exerting that effort, we can be assured we’re on the right track, but when we're bombarded with questions, it is not necessary to find the answers in isolation. Often, parents feel hesitant to assert that they are unsure of how to support their children. Whether we talk to our friends, our families, or our children’s teachers, it is in the conversations that we can begin to find some answers. There are no simple answers that solve all of life’s many questions, but in the small “ideas”, parents can find some support.
Don’t wait until “Black Friday” this week to give yourself the first holiday gift. Take comfort in knowing that it is in the conversation that answers can be found. Give yourself permission to seek support and in recieving it, the answers you need will be easier to find.