The question hits you in a soft place. It hits you when you least expect it…and yet it’s there constantly. Am I a good parent? Am I doing enough? Am I screwing this up?
It’s reassuring to say, “Every parent thinks this,” but it’s actually not true. There are, in fact, two types of parents who never think that. There are the parents who are so confident, so self-absorbed, so convinced that they and their family are at the center of the universe that they never question themselves (and these rarely turn out to be good parents). And then of course, there are the bad parents who have quit on themselves and their family. They decided they don’t have what it takes, so they ran away, or they spend their precious time and energy feeling that it’s hopeless, that there’s nothing they can do. They are too busy thinking about themselves and their own flaws to help anyone else.
But you? The type of parent who is checking in and wondering, Am I doing enough? Who actually cares about whether they’re doing a good job? This is—by definition—a good parent. A parent that a kid is lucky to have. A sociopath doesn’t spend much time worrying about whether they’re a sociopath—such a thing would never occur to them. In this case, it’s proof that you care, that you have self-awareness, that you’re improving, that you would stop to evaluate your own performance, that it would bother you to give anything less than the full measure of your devotion.
So when you feel that thought—that doubt—come up today, feel reassured. It means you’re doing a good job.