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Picking Your Battles

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I used to look at these cute little girls with wild and crazy hair, wondering why their mothers never combed it more or put cute little barrettes in. This thought crossed my mind today as I was watching my two year old sitting on the potty, trying to get her to go like a big girl. Yes, I have learned one of the biggest lessons in parenting that my husband has yet to grasp. Are you ready for it?? “Pick Your Battles”. There. I said it.

Sometimes my daughter has crazy hair and runs around without pants on. I even took my kids to the commissary the other day – my son sans shirt, my daughter sans pants. We had just finished swimming lessons and I needed a few things for dinner.  In my opinion, it wouldn’t be worth the effort to herd cats, errr, I mean gather the appropriate limbs into the appropriate holes to don clothing. Besides, that whole “proud civilian” poster doesn’t have a picture of a child on it, so it must be okay, right?

I’m beginning to understand that there is no perfect kind of parent. We don’t have to make our own gourmet meals and wallpaper to one up our neighbors or friends. We don’t have to home school our kids, in order to feel like those that do are better parents than us. We don’t have to constantly be the team mom or bring over-the-top homemade snacks.

What our kids want from us is love and understanding. That’s something that a gourmet cupcake can’t replace. For now, I don’t want to be the mom that always seems disappointed in her kids because she is always trying to correct them.  I’ve got enough battles to pick with my two year old steamrolling or riding the dogs like horses. I’m looking forward to the day when I don’t have to tell her to “leave the dogs alone” for the 15th time in a day, or ask my 6 year old if he has washed his hands after using the bathroom for the umpteenth time. I’m sure if you asked my kids though, they’d vote for the cupcake.

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