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Are You An "Expert" Parent?

What exactly is an expert parent?  I think the fact that my child has survived to the age of 24 must mean I did something right.  Do I consider myself an expert?  By no means.  But I do know one thing.  I always made my child my priority in every aspect of his life.

When I decided to become a mom, I made the decision that my life would be dedicated to my child, until he was old enough to make it on his own.  I wish I could sit here and say I didn't make any mistakes along the way, but I can't.  Of course I made stupid decisions at times or gave in to whining at times.  I even may have missed a meal or two or fed my son donuts for breakfast.  It happens.

Being a parent is not an easy task by any means.  It is time consuming, exhausting, frustrating, exhilarating, comical, fulfilling and everything in between.  I often found myself scratching my head and thinking to myself, what do I do now?  Have you ever walked into a room, looked at the mess your child made and turned around and walked out?  I have. 

Have you ever lost your patience or temper and said something you didn't mean?  I did.  It's normal. It doesn't make you a bad person.  I love my son, who is now a grown adult, unconditionally.  I always have and always will.  He made me a better parent and I made him a better son.  We learn from each other.  Neither one of us is an expert.  We are both always going to make mistakes and learn from them.  As long as I know in my heart that I am doing the best that I can, that is what really matters to me.

I can remember asking my mom one day, "How did you do it? How did you raise five of us and not go nuts?"  She looked at me very seriously and said, "Patience."  Personally, I was expecting her answer to be booze.....  I asked her if there were ever times she wanted to get in the car and drive away and keep on going?  I mean, she had five kids. Five! I had one and had some overwhelming days.  Believe me, we were good kids, but we could be a hand full at times.  Personally speaking, I know I gave her some grays. She told me there were times she would cry herself to sleep or take a ride in the car and scream out loud.  But, the happiness she got from having us, outweighed all the frustrations.  I can't say I disagree.  When my son would cuddle up to me on the couch and say I love you mommy, it was better than any feeling in the world.  It still is.

Am I an expert parent? No, I'm still in training.