We all had ideas in our heads when were little girls on what kind of moms we would be when we grew up.  We’re going to be the Pinterest perfect mom (even thou Pinterest wasn’t a thing back then).   We will volunteer at their schools. We will never scream and yell. We will never run late. We will never wear pajamas to drop off. They will never go to bed dirty.  We will make dinner every night, just like June Cleaver.  We will never make the same mistakes our moms made. Because we’re smarter, we are more fun and we know how to do it all.  You know you thought these things just like I did.
Well, with over twenty-three years under my parenting belt I can say…….. Wow, was I full of crap or what!?  I can honestly tell you I’m pretty much the parent Dr. Spock warned you about. Like, I wouldn’t qualify as a volunteer nanny for Dr. Seuss or Dr. Dre Seriously!  If there were a book on what not to do as a parent my face would be plastered on the front cover or if there were a calendar featuring bad moms, I would be Mrs. December.
It’s easy to look back and see our mistakes, everything we did wrong and wished we could change it. There was a time I would feel guilty. I’d wallow around in my guilt and let it swallow me. If you’re like me you sit and wonder did my mistakes make my children become adults who had to recover from their childhood.
Well after a lot of worries, prayer and letting go I assure you, like you, I am an average, imperfect mistake making mom. Let me tell you……..  the worry about it, pretty much means you were or are a better mom than you give yourself credit for.
So, I want to share a few things I’ve learned over the years of my mistaken parenting…..

  1. You will lose your cool, temper and mind at some point in time. It’s okay. If no one is dead, forgive yourself, apologize and move on.
  2. It’s okay to say no.
  3. It’s okay to make them mad. You are their parent, not their friend.
  4. They will remember the time, not the money you spent on them.
  5. Children are resilient.  They really do bounce back. Better than we do.
  6. Children are forgiving.
  7. All children need the responsibility of chores.
  8. All children need the responsibility of a pet.
  9. Dance with them. Sons and daughters both, have dance parties in the kitchen.
  10. They don’t have to take a bath every day. Going to bed without a bath isn’t the end of the world. Nor is it the worst mommy thing you can do.
  11. Take that extra minute and slip that note in their lunch, on the bathroom mirror, in their book or any place they wouldn’t expect it.
  12. Sing that extra song. Read that extra story.  Let them stay up that extra five minutes. Give that extra tickle. Before long they or grown and gone.
  13.  Let them help you cook, make a mess (it’s okay to make them clean it too)

I wish over the years I would have done more of what is listed here. I wish I would have taken the extra time and cherished these moments just a little more.  I wish I would have worried less and enjoyed more. I have to remind myself what is done is done and what will be will be.  I can only move forward and make better parenting choices. Make more fun memories.
So remember on the days you doubt your good, not so good or iffy parenting choices, you are doing a great job. If you weren’t you wouldn’t be worried.  On the tough days keep in mind they won’t be little for long. Time flies faster then we realize. And, on the toughest days remember this too shall pass.  Try to focus on the little things and embrace all aspect of parenting.
Remind yourself of this……
Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Psalm 127:3
Stay prayed and caffeinated up,
Hollie McCalip

Zac (now 23), Kody (now 20), Callie (now 18), Madison (now 16) & Kielee (now 11)  photo taken in 2006