Most employers offer annual reviews for their staff. These checkpoints, although some feel is outdated, were created to help people improve their overall performance, reach their long-term career goals, and maintain focus. When done correctly performance evaluations can be a great motivational tool. For people in a less formal work environment, you’re probably able to self-assess your strengths. More as well as your weaknesses if you take a pause for some self-reflection. But what about your parenting assessment?
In the era of the sanctimommy and the helicopter parent as well as the advent of social media it’s easy to see what your fellow peer parents are up to (or what they want the world to believe they’re up to).
A survey by Parents of over 2,000 participants revealed that 79 percent of parents believe that other parents are guilty of oversharing on social media. While only 32 percent feel they cross that over-share line.
But keeping up with the Joneses, particularly in parenting isn’t healthy. Sometimes sharing is a great opportunity for parents. Thus, connecting and supporting each other, but can also fuel competitive fires and self-doubt.
Check out: Parenting With Love And Logic
Last week my husband and I started talking about our performance as parents. We talked about how great our kids are and how proud we are of them. But, we also touched on our parenting regrets so far. Moreover, the places where we think we drop the ball on a regular basis.
When I was a kid I remember times when I wanted to sit down. Also, watching a favorite show or movie with my mother. I’d get frustrated when she’d pop in and out of the room. She putter, running loads of laundry upstairs during a commercial break. And sometimes, cleaning up the kitchen and joining in later. She often missing huge segments and what I thought were mind-blowing story revelations.
Today I use the kids’ TV time, and sometimes storytime if I’m not the narrator, to putter just like she did. I’ll put away toys, books, and lay out clothes for the next day most of the time instead of curling up beside them.
I catch up on work when they’re watching a particularly annoying cartoon that I find grating. And also, even when they’ve asked me to come in and join them.
On Sundays, we usually watch a new (to us) movie as a family. Here is where I’ve really tried to make this dedicated family time and not retreat to the kitchen or my laptop.
But, when a deadline is looming, or there are three loads of clean laundry sitting in their bedroom it’s hard not to feel the draw to sneak away for just a few minutes.
My husband worries about not following through on promises. It is because he’s genuinely forgotten in the blur of school work, dinner, extra-curricular activities, chores, and finally getting to put our feet up most weekdays.
A missed promise can be something as simple as forgetting to grab the story. He promised to read another chapter the following day. Helping to assemble the latest Lego toy. And even having a dance party where the kids jump around to their current favorite song.
You can feel the disappointment at bedtime. When someone quietly asks, “Remember you told me that we’d draw robots today when are we really going to do that?”
Since our performance debrief I’ve made a point to remind my hubby about the things I’ve overheard him promise, and he tries to do the same for me.
I’ve been making an effort to putter a little less during storytime. Even if it’s just cuddling up for five minutes every day. Or, sitting beside them while I work on something while they watch Trolls for the 82nd time straight.
In talking to other friends there was a lot of guilt surrounding not being present. Scrolling their phones for social media, or texting when they could be interacting with their kids; I know I’m guilty of this too.
Some have made a dedicated effort to take a day a week where they stay off social media. And even arrange for specific hours every day when their phone remains off. Others fret about the balance of family and careers and missing out on pivotal moments.
I haven’t asked my kids how I can do better yet, but I don’t think it needs to be that formal for parenting assessment. I just need to listen a little closer and remember that the laundry will still be there tomorrow.
Just the same, a little reflection every now and then can probably help all of us become the parents we want to be. Moreover, not just the ones we think we should be.
If you want to learn more about parenting, read our tips on the link; Minimalist Parenting: Is This The New Way Of Parenting
Sara is a freelance writer, award winning parenting blogger, and public relations specialist from Toronto, Canada. She is mother to fraternal girl/boy twins, loves music, hiking, and offbeat pop culture.