I found this quote by Teddy Roosevelt on the inside of an old farm on New Year’s Eve. I found his words to be deeply moving and wanted to share them with you.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
With 2020 just beginning, it is a chance to reflect on the parenting you will be called upon during the upcoming year. Like the man in the quote, the credit will be for those that gather their courage to do the hard things, the things that other people won’t, in pursuit of a worthy cause.
The work you do as a parent is important. It has the potential to impact not only your children but the future generations of your children’s children.
Sometimes being a good parent is saying to your child what you might be afraid to say. Do it with compassion and a sense of humility and you will truly do great things during the upcoming year.
You will make mistakes, make no doubt about that. But if those mistakes are made with the best of intentions in pursuit of a greater good, how could there not be something positive coming out of that? This does not necessarily mean it will feel good. In fact, it may feel very hard and exhausting.
The work you do though puts you in close contact with your own child who is hurting at times. To continue to strive to help alleviate pain in this world is a noble effort. An effort I hope you will continue to pursue with great vigor during the upcoming year.
My desire for you is at the same time next year, you can look back on the parenting you did in 2020 and feel pride along with a sense of accomplishment about the help and support you were able to give to your child.
The critics will always be there. Do not let their voices drown out your own.