The Strength of a Parent

People often say that you can be your own worst enemy, and I think this statement can sometimes ring so true. As a parent, you can find yourself pointing out only your faults, whilst neglecting all that is positive.

For the past week, my two girls have been sick on and off. They got better after taking antibiotics, but have now caught a virus instead. And whilst hubby was at work today, I took them to the doctors in spite of the fact that I was sick and heavily pregnant myself.

When I woke up early that morning, though, I thought I’d be rushing my oldest to Kindy. But when I saw how sick my daughter was, I didn’t hesitate for a second. Even though I knew it’d be hard work taking the girls to the doctors on my own, I knew it had to be done. A deep feeling inside told me to do what was right, not what was easier.

And I think that’s what determines the strength of a parent. You don’t have to be perfect to be a “good” parent; it’s not about playing with your kids 24/7, continuing to speak calmly regardless of how stressed you are, or your ability to act like everything is okay when it’s not. It’s about that unconditional love that you have for your child that helps you rush to their aid when they need it.

I once watched a television show where a “dysfunctional” family was portrayed as not being capable to look after their children, simply because they held different values when it came to parenting. But when it came down to the crunch and their child got sick, they were nothing short of responsive.

And I believe that sometimes, we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. Every parent will always have a different set of values, their own opinions as to how they would like to parent their child; but does that make them a “bad” parent? No, I don’t think so. When you are always trying to do what is best for your child, then you are FAR from being a “bad” parent”.

Lawrence and I are just like any other parents, we sometimes question the way we raise our children; we wonder if what we’re doing is ever “right”. But when our kids get sick and we know exactly what to do, we re-evaluate the way we feel about ourselves.

Sometimes you need to look beyond all those little things and look to the things that DO matter. Parents that wonder if what they’re doing is right for their child, tend to question it simply because they CARE. I don’t think someone who didn’t care would bother to question their parenting abilities at all.

And I think that’s why you need to commend yourself for everything that you already DO for your child. Forget those small things; forget the fact that you may not be the most artistic parent around or the biggest vocaliser when it comes to reading to your children.

Just remember that the most important gift that you can give to your child is your unconditional love, and when you are able to give that to them – THAT will be what determines the strength of your ability as a parent.

Thuy Le (formerly known as Thuy Yau) is a freelance writer and Youth Work graduate living in Perth, Australia. She loves to share her own personal experiences about overcoming adversity, as she believes that human beings are more capable than they realise. She writes to make a positive difference in the world and to inspire others to learn from themselves and their own experiences. Her writing has been discussed on radio, won writing contests, appeared on The Huffington Post UK and major Australian sites such as, SMH, Kidspot and Essential Kids. She has just completed her first book – a memoir - and is on the search for a publisher.

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