You don't have to be perfect to be the perfect parent!

Relax, You are Good Enough!


It is Friday, my favorite day of the week, and I am planning a college graduation party for my #3 daughter. An exciting time filled with pride for any parent. With my cup of coffee this morning, I was thinking about the weeks ahead, and nearly ruined the start to my day. I began my list, all that I thought that I needed to do to get ready for our celebration. The list suddenly became overwhelming, I wanted everything to be perfect because I wanted to be the perfect Mom! Even with the age of my children, I can still slip into trying to be perfect rather than good enough. Good enough is not a plug for parenting mediocrity, it is a plug for being just what your child needs, and removing the pressure for trying to be more. We all are so busy and we add so much more to our plate when we look around and think of what we should be doing to be the “perfect parent”.

Sometimes the internet, articles and books, and even looking at other families can cause anxiety about our parenting skills. We can have thoughts like: ”I am not crafty at all….I hate crafts!” ”Our routine in our home is crazy!” ”I don’t feed my child organically…we even eat McDonald’s french fries!” ”I yelled and just lost it yesterday, my poor kids!” ”I have to climb over my laundry to open my laundry room door.” ”My child is not signed up for soccer..the rest of the neighborhood is!” and the thoughts go on… Most of us have unrealistic expectations of what a “good parent” is. All parents have short comings, there is no perfect parent, I promise.

However, your child thinks you are perfect, at least until about age 13, and then he still does, he just wants you to believe differently! Think about it, you are the only parent he knows! Your child has no idea that you may struggle sometimes with parenting decisions or question your skills! You are the wisest adult in his world! You are the first person his little eyes saw, the person that comforted, fed and loved him and made him think the world was going to be a great place. The only person that you have to answer to in this world regarding your parenting skills is your child. That little face that looks at you each morning and you kiss each evening before bed is the only true judge of you as a parent.

Your child does not need all the stuff the world tells you. Kids need interaction with friends, play, and some extracurricular activities; but the true need your child has is you, your love and your time. Many of us judge our parenting by looking at the hectic world around us and judging if we are doing enough as a parent. Remember that simplicity has been around forever, and the simplicity of time, love, structure and discipline has been the key to parenting for centuries. The most important part of your child’s life is the love and lessons that he receives from an imperfect you! No music or dance lesson, no sports team, no expensive school, no book, no craft activity, and surely not a well decorated clean home will give more to your child than simply your relationship.

So once again, I am taking the pressure of perfection off me this morning. (No one looks at dust on woodwork, and if the cupcakes aren’t the perfect “Butler University Blue” it won’t matter!) I am sitting just a bit longer with this cup of coffee and crossing a few unnecessary things off my list. I am looking forward to the moments these next couple of weeks that are not dependent on whether I have clean windows or creative Butler Bulldog décor, but are dependent on the relationships I have with my kids, especially my new graduate. Remember, you are perfect in your child’s eyes as a parent, and it is just fine to be a “good enough” parent, it is all your child desires.

Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.



  1. Hartke, Colleen

    Thanks cindy! You made my morning! Thanks so much for all of your wonderful advice. Love you!

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Jane

    Your advice is so good! Remember these years and celebrations come and go way too quickly! You are left with the wonderful memories of family and ALL of your good times and the many celebrations! We are looking forward to another graduation to add to our memories! Love you, Mom and Dad


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