Parenting is one of the hardest jobs on the planet. The fact that you are online right now, reading about being a good parent, makes you a pretty decent parent. Doing your research whenever you need help as a parent is a good thing. A good parent shows up. A good parent tries every single day. A good parent gives their all whether it looks Pinterest perfect or a messy bun, half cleaned house, and a drive-thru happy meal for supper.  

For most of us, we are somewhere in the middle. There are days where we are super successful in the parent role. We have every food group within a nice home-cooked meal, we give our children their vitamins and make sure they brushed and flossed their teeth, we sit at the table and make sure they have the homework done, and they are all tucked in bed at a decent time. Then, there are days where we are barely surviving. And that is okay!

Parenting is more of days full of chaos than easy days. There are more things to accomplish in the day than there is time. Insert one extra task or event and the whole day is a disaster. Just do your best to withstand the chaos. Parenting is running late. Parenting is saying the same thing over and over and over and over. Parenting is thinking you are failing when chances are you are not. Do your best. Show up. Try. If you do those three things; you are a great parent.

Parenting is also subjective. You have to make constant decisions based on your own morals, opinions, and research. What is right for your family may be completely different for another. Choose your own path. Seems simple, right? Not even close. Even if you would consider yourself a good parent, chances are, you second guess many of your choices. In addition to that, absolutely no parent is perfect. Second guessing your choices does not mean you made a mistake. Most parents learn and grow as their children learn and grow.  

Your children will love you regardless. Be sure to love them regardless. Forgive them for their mistakes. Teach them when they do something wrong or don’t understand. Children are not born with the knowledge it takes to live in the advanced world we live. They need lots of education mixed in with love and understanding. Just take care of your child’s daily needs. Teach your children that you are not perfect. Be a role model. You are showing your children how they should act at home, in public, and at school. Chances are, they want to be just like you when they grow up. As long as you are not harming your children physically, mentally, or emotionally and you are taking care of their needs, you are a good parent.

Parenting is not just about love. Parenting is to be everything your children need but in one person. Parenting is tough!

My name is Gina Francis. I am a single mom of two adopted, almost teenage, children named Mireya and Christopher. Our adoption story is one of those “meant to be” situations. My very first foster placement was for one beautiful little 4-year-old girl and one big-eyed, tiny 2-year-old boy. Both of whom were supposed to stay with me for two months. Nine years later, here we are now as an adoptive family of three!  

I am also a fourth-grade teacher. We live in Central Illinois and are big fans of the St. Louis Cardinals. We even named our little Yorkipoo puppy, Yadi! The kids keep me pretty busy with all of their activities and sports; however, our favorite thing to do together is travel. One goal of mine is to see all 50 states with Mireya and Christopher before they are too old to take a trip with their mom. (But if I am paying, I am guessing they will be up for the trip at any age!) As adventurous as we are as a family, I am very excited to begin this new journey as a writer.