That was the sarcastic insult that was thrown at me a few days ago by a stranger as I drove past him, ever so slowly, with my four, eight, and nine year-olds hanging off the side of our car.
I'm still angry about it. When it happened I was so mad that I stopped my car, got out, and walked after him, letting him know how I felt about his comment. I'm not proud of my response. I shouldn't have done it - especially not in front of the kids. I'll explain what happened in just a second, but first, a quick point about parenting - bad parenting in particular.
Some days we're simply not in the mood for it...We have a bad parent kind of day.Most parents I know have had our moments. Some days we're simply not in the mood for it. We snap at the kids. We make impatient demands. We have a bad parent kind of day.
No one is harder on ourselves than we are. We know how we want to be as parents. We try to act in accordance with our values. We remember the promises we made, either silently and privately, or openly in celebration of the birth of our kids. We were going to be great parents! We were going to be kind, loving, compassionate, available, engaged, and mindful.
But some days we just don't get there. We find it impossible to measure up to our lofty standards of parenting perfection.
As much as we beat ourselves up for it, even berate ourselves, sometimes we might do well to give ourselves a break.
Is it ideal that we fall short? No, not at all.
Can we do better? Generally, yes... and we should.
But as we all know, some days are better than others. What matters most is that our kids know that most of the time we are good, we can be relied upon, and that even when we're having a lousy day, we still love them.
Which is why what happened to me the other day got me so mad. I was actually being a good parent! Or so I thought. (I'm the damn parenting expert - I think I'd have a good idea of when I'm getting it right).