I found two blogs yesterday when I was writing my Blogtipping post that had posts about admitting that they are good parents. I decided that I'd write my own post about being a good parent....
I have very low self-esteem... I always have. I have a hard time accepting praise. Why? I have no idea.
I've been watching my weight and have recently lost 28 pounds and only have about 7 more to go to reach my goal weight. I feel better physically than I have in a very long time. Hubby Frank and I celebrated out 20th wedding anniversary last summer with a trip to Gatlinburg and had a wonderful time. Our girls are a true blessing. They are both very good students, and very good girls. They are friendly to everyone and have lots of good friends. I've got a lot of very good friends too. I'm involved in a lot of the girls' activities at the school and very involved with our church. I work for an extremely understanding boss and love my job. Plus things are going pretty well on my blogs! Sounds pretty close to perfect, doesn't it? So why do I have such a low self-esteem?
One problem is, I can't help but compare myself to others. Even though I'm now in a smaller clothing size, I still picture myself as big. Outside, I manage my marriage, kids, friendship and job, but inside, I'm struggling to handle balancing it all.
Outside, my life probably looks pretty good, but if people really knew. . . my oldest dd Becca has been struggling with some pretty serious health issues. For the past two years, she has a headache on a daily basis. We've had her to every doctor imaginable both here locally and in Pittsburgh and were finally told there is nothing they can do... she just has to learn to deal with it until it someday goes away. Then she was diagnosed with bladder cancer last fall. Talk about your world falling down around you! We got that taken care of only to find she has PCOS (that's a whole other blog! lol!). She started having more health problems two weeks ago and we've been back and forth to Pittsburgh again dealing with them. Jillian, our youngest, has had asthma since she was 18 months old and still has occasional flair ups. Frank travels a lot with his work... sometimes having to be out of town 3-4 days a week. I volunteer for way too many things and end up with a To Do list a mile long! Work gets very, very busy during the spring so I often have to work longer hours, yet I've needed to take a lot of time off because of Becca lately, which hurts the paycheck a lot... I could go on and on, but I won't. I think you get the picture.
So how do I deal with it all? I cry out to God. I do a LOT of praying! Proverbs 3:5 helps me a lot, "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart. . ." When I start feeling down again, I realize that I have been relying on me, not God. Another verse is Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with ALL your heart." Why do I keep forgetting that??? When I remember these truths, these treasures from God's Word, a calmness comes over me that I can't even begin to explain.
When I rely on His strength, and not my own, I feel better about myself, and I can breathe again. I turn my fears about Becca, Jillian, Frank, work, and every day pressures over to the only One who can take care of them.
How does this help me be a good parent? Because I can be there for my girls... really be there. I can give them the support and encouragement they need because of my inner peace. My girls and I have fun when we are together, whether it's a trip to Walmart or to the doctors in Pittsburgh. We all laugh at the dining room table when we eat dinner together. We share stories and laugh. They confide in my about boy troubles and girl friend troubles. I provide a loving home, they have a strong Christian upbringing and they are good kids. Really good kids.
I'm proud of them, and I'm proud of Frank and I as their parents. Yep, I still suffer from low self-esteem, but I work on it constantly! And I am very proud to say, I am a Good Parent.