I think it is fair to say that parenting is by far the hardest job on the planet. As moms and dads, we are on the front lines of this gig every minute of every day. We are expected to show up for work, without pay, even when we are sick, tired and mentally fried.
The early stages of parenting are exhausting in a state of cluelessness as we are blissfully unaware of what is to come.
Then, the kids get a little bit older and parenting pressures rise as we become scared shitless that we might screw it/them up. Honestly, at the end of the day, we are all simply doing the very best we can.
Sometimes we suck and other times we should be given an award for how brilliant we are in the moment. I’ve lost count at how many times I have wished I could retract something I said or overthought how I could have handled a certain situation differently.
However, once in a while, when the stars align, I pull some nuggets of wisdom out of my ass and hope that whatever miraculous statement comes out of my mouth is received with open ears by my own “human beings in training“.
There are a few favorite phrases I use that have resonated with my kids–I know this because I’ve heard my kids repeat them– it’s no shock that they are especially good at remembering the ones with swears…
Here are some of my words of wisdom from a parent’s perspective.
It doesn’t matter where you start, it only matters where you finish.
In a world where kids think immediate gratification and automatic success is the way accomplishments are achieved, this phrase is the perfect reminder that consistency and hard work will get you to the finish line and no one is a pro at anything overnight.
How did that make you feel?
As parents, one of our most important jobs is to teach our kids how to empathize and communicate their feelings in a productive way. We teach that through our own actions, however, we can also encourage our children to talk about their feelings. Listen to your babies when they are in a sharing mood and then ask them how a certain instant made them feel. Only good can come from that conversation.
Your teachers and your coaches will know that you are listening when they can see your eyes.
As a long-time coach to young kids, I find this very literal bit of advice to be quite helpful when grooming the youngins to stay focused and practice discipline and it can be applied to any setting where instruction is being delivered. This is a great way for kids to check and reset themselves in learning environments. It is never too early to put those expectations out there. Simple tricks like this one will serve kids throughout life.
Worrying is a goddamn waste of time.
If you have jr. worriers running around, this mildly inappropriate/slightly humorous statement can redirect those busy little minds when they are caught in a worry they can’t seem to kick. It doesn’t always work, but if you put it on repeat and are okay with your ten-year-old using colorful language from time to time, this one can be useful in a time of need.
Work hard. Be kind. Have fun.
Words to live by and just the punch in the right direction our children need as they head out the door to school or anywhere, really. The building blocks to raising solid human beings revolve around work ethic, common decency and the reminder that even things like school, sports and extracurriculars should be fun. Besides, this phrase has a nice ring to it.
Practice makes awesome.
In the olden days, our parents used to say that “practice made perfect.” I think “awesome” is way more obtainable than perfection and who doesn’t want to feel awesome? Fuck perfect. Ain’t nobody perfect… But everyone can be awesome.
Save the drama for your mama.
This one is for all the moms of girls. Dear sweet Jesus, the drama the ladies conjure up can be pretty impressive at times. Also, the world’s greatest waste of time too. I am lying when I say save it for the moms. It just rhymes so well with drama, is all.
If you don’t tell lies, you never have to worry about remembering the story.
In an effort to raise honest humans, this little saying instills the reminder that honesty is always the best policy. Especially when we are trying to teach our young kids the more honest they are, the fewer things they will have weighing on their conscience.
My favorite part about this gig is sharing inspiration with you because we are all in this parenting thing together and sharing is caring.