Wednesday, December 16, 2015

You're Doing Better Than You Think

This post was sponsored by Socialstars and Minute Maid. All opinions expressed are DadNCharge's alone. #minutemaid #doingood 

The holidays. They meant so much more than presents under the tree for me. They meant more than Santa coming down a chimney based on whether I was bad or good that year. They meant that my grandparents despite one being legally blind and the other practically deaf piling into their van and driving from Wisconsin to Illinois; hurtling towards our home to be with us. They meant sitting on the couch with grandpa telling him all about my artwork and grandma lending every piece of information about every experience she ever had and that was a lot. Most importantly, the holidays mean that parents are going above and beyond to make this magical season the best it can be. I’m sharing my memories of #doingood parents throughout my life during the holidays.

The holidays for me meant my Grandma Bernholdt who lived on the East Coast would come to the Midwest for a spell. It meant dragging out the TV into the living room so she could watch her soaps while she wrote letters on stationary. Sometimes she would motion for my brother and I to come close and slip some money in our hand and with a twinkle in her eye ask us if we could run to the McDonald's to get her a cheeseburger and a chocolate shake. We always knew that returning the change to her she would smile and say "Keep the change and get something nice for yourself"

The holidays meant my Uncle Art cracking "groaner" jokes and and crossword puzzles. They meant bear hugs from the family I hadn't seen in what seemed like forever and my aunt showing up with cookies she spent all week making. They meant lining up year after year with my cousins on the staircase taking a picture together until we all couldn't fit in the frame anymore. 

Remember when their arrival meant everything to you? Remember that moment when the doorbell rang and you couldn't see grandpa because he was behind a pile of presents?  Remember when your family would come for the holidays and stay with you? You probably gave up your bedroom so that your grandma would sleep more soundly or you braved that pull out couch with the bar that always sticks in your back so they could have their own room. 

Holidays are a time for family. Many times that means we are giving something up so that they can be comfortable. Most of the time we are not seeing these as sacrifices because it is our love for one another that helps us see past it. It's in our very nature to give up so that others can benefit.

Parents make sacrifices for their children as they grow up. They may have to give up a career they chose so that they can stay home and raise them or work every day to provide for the family. Along the way there may be instances where parents are missing out and sometimes we feel guilty about that. At the holidays, it’s more important than ever to remind fellow parents that they’re #doingood.

There are also times when we just aren't sure that what we are doing raising you is the right thing. Did I handle that situation the best way possible? Did I confuse him even more? Does she hate me because I imposed some tough rules on her? You should know, you're doing better than you think.

There is no annual review when it comes to parenting. There are no accolades or awards. We don't sit down quarterly with you and have a parent-child conference. You'd be surprised though just how much you are #doingood for your family. 

Yesterday, I sat in a parent-teacher conference and read a journal entry by my daughter about all the things she is thankful for. Though she has sometimes said it to me in passing she praised me for my "yummy dinners" but most of all was appreciative of my wife and I for loving her so deeply. In all the ways we show how much we love and care for her, showing it through caring for her day in and day out is something that even an eight year old can see. 

You can do something similar this holiday. Let your kids show you just how much you mean to them and how much they mean to you. It will be better than any present under the tree this year; that feeling that all the things you are #doingood for them will be right in front of you. It will be a reminder when you aren't feeling like you're doing a good job at this parenting thing that you're getting something right after all. 

Take a moment to share this video with someone who needs to be lifted up this holiday season. Don’t forget to let them know how they are #doingood for their families not only during the holidays, but all year round.

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