Everyone who is a parent wants to be the best parent for their kids. We want to set a good example.
In this week’s episode of the Spark Your Life podcast, we talk about just that.
But first, a story.
YOU SHOULDN’T STAY IN AN UNHAPPY MARRIAGE FOR THE KIDS
I battled leaving my marriage for almost nine months, thinking I needed to keep my marriage together for my daughter.
But the truth is you don’t need to stay in an unhappy marriage for the kids.
By staying in an unhappy marriage, I was doing my daughter more harm than good.
I was an unhappy mom, and to set the best example for her, I needed to be my best self.
I wanted to set a good example by showing my daughter the right environment:
- where she is loved
- where her parents love and respect each other
I realized that I’d rather be single than set the wrong example. So, eight years ago, I left my marriage.
Fast forward to now, we have a happy family where the parents love and respect each other and show my daughter what that means.
QUALITY OF TIME VS. QUANTITY OF TIME
Another struggle parents face is feeling the need to be with their kids 24/7. If you work or choose your own interests, does that make you a bad parent?
Of course not!
For many parents, it’s a constant battle of wanting to have something for themselves — hobbies, passion projects, work, date nights with your partner, or meet-ups with your friends.
Yet, we’re filled with guilt because we aren’t spending that time with our kids.
It’s time for a perspective shift.
Instead of thinking about the quantity of time you spend with your kids, think about the quality.
You may be guilty of this. I sure am. But when spending time with your kids, you’re also multitasking.
Answering work emails, typing on your phone, scrolling social media, etc. You’re not really present.
I think this is what really causes guilt because even though we’re physically present with our kids, we’re not there.
How do you solve this?
When you’re with your child, be with your child. Don’t work.
If you choose to do work, focus on doing work without guilt.
You have to give yourself time to do both, just not at the same time.
Honestly, I feel like we are doing good for our kids when we go out in the world, gain knowledge and life experiences, and then come back home and share this whole new world with them.
When you leave the house and make time for your own interests, you’re not only expanding your horizons, but you’re expanding your childs too.
Let Your Life Be An Example
Set an example for your children by doing your own thing, following your passions, pursuing your goals and dreams, and working on your business.
Then, you get to experience the joys of hearing your child share with her friends that her mom is an entrepreneur and owns her own business.
You can inspire your children by pursuing your own goals and not trying to be with them 24/7.
ONLY YOU CAN DECIDE WHAT YOU VALUE AS A PARENT
Honestly, I have no idea what it means to be the best parent for your kids.
You could be doing everything you think is right for your kids. And then, 20 years later, they look back and say they had a terrible childhood.
That their parents didn’t spend any time with them or they pressured them too much.
Or, you could be stressed about specific circumstances, yet those might be the best memories for your kids.
I haven’t figured out a way to deal with this paradox.
My only solution is to wake up every day and be myself. That’s the best example I can be for my daughter.
I try to live my life knowing my values and living in alignment with what those are.
I don’t have all the answers, but I can be a better parent by showing my daughter that I have goals and aspirations and that I’m learning and growing as a person.
Your children will do what you do, not listen to what you say.
I’m setting an example by being who I am and being the best version of that.
I’m not sure if that is how to be a better parent, but being present and noticing the moments in my life that are worth noticing is the best I can do for my child.
We might have to wait 20 years to see if it worked the way we wanted it to work, but until then, keep on being the best role model you can be.
If you’re a parent, please reach out! I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. And even if you aren’t a parent, we all likely have people who look up to us.
Until next time,