I recently had the good fortune of talking to a mother of a 16-month-old. I told her about my next blog idea, Being A Perfectly Imperfect Parent. She smiled, nodded and shared how differently she reacts to things involving her little one now as oppose to in the beginning.  It’s like those Luvs Second Kid commercials; in time most parents tend to ease up on their reactions.  She expressed with such clarity how in tuned she is with her child now and how she is less reactive to things that happen around her.

How are you judging yourself as a parent?
If you were to quietly reflect from a third person perspective, what would you observe about your interactions with your young one? I’ve found that there is a benefit in quietly reflecting on our actions, thoughts and feelings. This strengthens our self-awareness. Are you self-critical of what you observed from this little exercise, impressed by your efforts or somewhere in between?

Whatever comes up for you, accept it as it is.  If you noticed something that you didn’t like, be careful not to jump to shame or guilt about it; instead, allow acceptance to lead you to actions of change that are fluid and not forced from a place of guilt, fear or shame.

The perfect authentic parent
In Rosa-Medina Fassett’s blog article, Gaining Freedom by Releasing the “Perfect Parent” Syndrome, she shares her evolution in parenting and how she realized that being a “perfect parent” was her choosing to be her authentic self.

It became clear to her that the best parent her children needed was an authentic one.  From my experience as a clinician and a self-reflective soul, I’ve found that when I choose to be my authentic self, I feel freer, happier, accepting and tuned in to my relationships and to what’s happening around me.  As a result, others reap the benefits of having an authentic connection.

Parenting is not meant to be perfect. It’s a relationship with your child where you are authentically you, while creating a space that’s full of care, attention, lots of teaching moments, respect, growth, change and complete acceptance. I wrote this blog to celebrate parents in all of their imperfect perfections. Give yourself a pat on the back for doing the best that you know how to do in each moment you’re given with your child.

ebony picEbony K. Bailey, LPC MHSP has been practicing psychotherapy since 2005. She currently serves at the Clinical Coordinator of the Universal Parenting Places for the ACE Awareness Foundation. On a regular basis she meets individually and in group with the UPP site directors to discuss clinical programing that primarily focuses on mitigating adverse childhood experiences through family systems therapy.