There’s always an excuse for why you’re not being the parent you’d like to be, just as there’s always an excuse why you’re not being the person you know you’re supposed to be. Things are busy at work. This divorce has really messed you up. It’s this damn pandemic. You’re really struggling with your own issues right now. It’s been hard since your brother got sick, or since the hurricane struck. You’re just tired, you don’t seem to be any good at this. They’re older now and it’s your time.
This parenting thing—this life thing—is really hard. And there’s always an excuse we can come up with for why we’re not doing well.
But an excuse doesn’t actually excuse. You signed up for this. They deserve your best effort. They are the priority. They are too important to be given up on. You always have to be there for them. You always have to be loving, kind, attentive and proud—no matter what’s happening in the world. As long as they are watching you, you have to be a good example.
Of course, there’s a difference between letting them stay up a bit later than usual because you need to finish something, and letting them watch more TV than usual when school has been cancelled and we’re stuck inside our houses for our own safety. We’re not talking about ordinary give and take—we’re talking about the excuses we can make for not doing our job. And our job is to be a good parent, always and forever.
There is always an excuse… and yet there is no excuse.
You know this.