A parent starts from scratch every day and runs until empty, hoping he has done something right, that one of his lessons actually sticks.
But he won’t know for a while. Not for years. And the lack of feedback, direct or otherwise, makes the job even harder, making it very easy to succumb to self-doubt.
This is why judgment from other parents is so obnoxiously redundant. Every decent parent already constantly questions his own parenting.
Here is a small sampling of the questions that run through nearly every parent’s head nearly every single day:
- Am I doing this right?
- Am I patient enough?
- Do I yell too much?
- Will he turn out OK?
- Am I giving her everything she needs?
- Is he too young to watch Star Wars?
- Am I setting him up for success?
- Am I too hard on her?
- Am I too easy on him?
- Does she know how much I love her?
- Am I too distracted?
- Am I too preoccupied?
- Am I holding her back?
- Is this much mac and cheese really healthy?
- Am I spoiling him?
- Am I depriving her?
- Do I expect too much from him?
- Do I discipline enough?
- Do I discipline too much?
- Do I spend enough time with him?
- Am I too selfish?
- Do I work too much?
- Is she too dependent on me?
- Am I smothering him?
- Does she eat enough vegetables?
- Does he eat too much junk food?
- Does she watch too much TV?
- Does he get enough exercise?
- Am I too protective?
- Am I good role model?
- Is he learning the right things from me?
- Am I a good parent?
- Is it too early for a drink?
I know I’ve missed around ten thousand of these. What are some of the parenting questions you ask yourself every day?
A version of this first appeared on Dad and Buried.