Thursday, October 8, 2015

Success, That ELUSIVE Parent Dream

What does it mean to be a successful parent?

I used to think that being a successful parent meant happy kids (all of the time), hot dinner on the table every night, laundry washed and put away, homework done on time, dishes done before I go to bed, and work and home was balanced perfectly.  I was delusional.  This doesn’t happen, at least not to me.  If you have this figured out, please email me and tell me how to do this.

I was driving myself crazy trying to be the perfect mother.  I got to the point where, if the stars did not align, I began to feel as though I was failing.  Failing as a mother; the single most important thing that I am supposed to and want to do well. I have eight little people that are counting on me to get it right.

I was speaking to a group of entrepreneurs about my experiences and challenges of starting a business, and I said something that I just realized at that very moment: Success is defined in different ways, depending on your perspective.  I started looking for the small successes at home the same way I did at work.

Just last week, my son, Lucas, said to me, “Hey mom, I’m really glad that when I was born, we weren’t too rich and weren’t too poor. We were just right.”  The successful part of this story is that when Lucas was born, we lived in a house that I felt was not “just right” for my family.  I felt like every day there was a mountain to climb. My children, however, felt like things were “just right”.  Wow. Perspective AND success.  I simply couldn’t see it then.

It took me a little while to figure out where to look for moments to pat myself on the back. Here are some examples:

There is still milk in the fridge for breakfast this morning; success. 

I packed school lunches before I went to bed last night and saved myself 10 minutes this morning AND  everyone is happy with what they were given; success. 

Nobody cried at bedtime; success. 

I put on a cheery face even though I was crabby as hell; success.

I kept my cool when four kids were screaming and crying; success.

Holy crap, I suddenly found myself doing a lot of things right!  All I had to do was look! Now when I am having a bad day and I don’t keep my cool or there is no milk in the fridge, I know it’s okay.  I know I can reset and there is another small success right around the corner if I just look for it.  I changed my perspective and it changed the way I valued myself as a mom, a good and successful mom.


Nikki Lamb

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