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The past couple of weeks have been spent in an “I’m-moving-across-the-country-with-5-boys” sort of daze. It is accentuated by the “away-from-everyone-and-everything-I-know” shock. And of course, there is the “I-haven’t-slept-in-my-own-bed-for-9-days” exhaustion. So here we are, our first morning in our new place. We only have on vehicle as our car will not arrive for another 4 or 5 days. We still have some items at the hotel I must retrieve today.
(shameless free advertisement: Of all the places we stayed, Best Western and Red Lion were totally awesome!)
And pretty much everything is still in boxes.
All this to say: if this post makes no sense whatsoever, it can be blamed on the aforementioned maladies.

I am not a perfect parent.  (Duh, obviously!)

I want to be a perfect parent.  I want every decision and action I make to be the best one, the correct one every time.  I wish every snapshot of our lives was glowing and happy and flawless.

On this great caravan across 7 states my thoughts drifted to books I recently read to the boys by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I giggled as I imaged Ma and Pa Ingalls on their journey saying to their sweet children some of the things we have on our trip.

conestoga wagon

“Look out your own side of the wagon!”

“If you don’t speak, there will be nothing for your sibling to copy!”

“If you don’t look at your sibling, you won’t see the faces/rude gestures they are making!”

“Didn’t you just go pee?  Just how small is your bladder, anyway?”

“For the sanity and safety of everyone, please just be quiet!”

It may be the exhaustion, but imagining Ma and Pa uttering some of these (and maybe a few I won’t put down here) made me giggle.  While they may not have said these things, traveling with small children can take a lot out of you, and I am sure this pioneering family was no exception.  Laura may have portrayed her parents as nearly perfect, but I am sure they may have said differently.  But they were good parents.

What is the difference between perfect parents and good parents?

 

A perfect parent knows she is perfect.
A perfect parent never needs help.
A perfect parent always knows what to do and never makes mistakes.
A perfect parent never grows, never changes, never learns.
A perfect parent never makes mistakes, setting the bar impossibly high for her children.
A perfect parent is never truly perfect.

A good parent knows she is not perfect.
A good parent recognizes when she needs help and asks for it.
A good parent struggles over decisions and second guesses.
A good parent makes mistakes and apologizes, thus teaching her children how to make mistakes and make things right.
A good parent is sometimes a little too strict (at least according to my son’s friends).
A good parent is sometimes a little too lax (did I ever tell about the time I let the boys put ice cream on their pancakes?).
A good parent wonders if she is a good parent.

I think I’d rather be a good parent than a perfect one.

 

 

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