I'm doing the best I can. I'm not perfect.
well sounds like you have a perfect family with no problems and you have all the rights to brag on them as i would also ... and i do brag on my family but some families are not perfect and do have differences to deal with and i guess i do
I think many people approach parenting as though all we can do is guess and then do the best we can. Parenting is a huge responsibility and we don't want to screw it up!
But there's a difference between doing the best we can do and doing the best we can do with the knowledge we have at the time.
If we believe we do the best we can do, then if someone comes up with an idea that they say works better we feel GUILTY. A better idea means we didn't do the best we could. We were bad parents.
So we protect ourselves and say to others "No, I'm doing the best I can. I'm not perfect like you seem to think you are."
BUT if we turn our thinking around and trust that we're doing the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time then we can free ourselves to listen to people who have found something that works even better. We acknowledge that we aren't perfect. We acknowledge that our choices aren't the best that are possible.
I think it helps to look at the parenting that we're doing today as like a finger in the leaky dike. A finger is the best we can do with what we have right now but we're on the look out for something better. Like maybe a big rock. That won't be perfect either, but it will be better than the finger. And the rock will serve until we can find something even better, like someone who will repair the dike in the best possible way.
So we acknowledge that what we have is imperfect, but we're always looking for something that works even better.
If we see someone's suggestion of a rock for the hole in the dike as a criticism of us using a finger, it's going to be very hard to move onto a better solution. We're going to stay with the finger because we did the best we could. And to acknowledge there's something better is to take on guilt that we didn't pick the rock in the first place.
"You did then what you knew how to do and when you knew better... you did better!" - Maya Angelou
Last updated: April 2009