10/09/2014 07:40 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Ain't Nobody Got Time to be the Perfect Parent

Jessica Bensten

Tonight, I reached my maximum saturation of articles showing me how to parent. There's a "Top 10" or "15 Things Never To Do" list of every single thing you can think of these days. Some of these posts are fabulous and I enjoy them, but many of them just make me feel inadequate.

Like... the creative Bento Box parents. It's pretty fantastic, don't you think? But let's get real, ain't nobody got time for that.


There is so much competition to be "the best." Where did all of this competition come from? I just have to be honest and say I'm never going to be the World's Best Parent. I've got some bad news for you too... it's probably not going to be you, either.

It's OK, we can commiserate together.

With so much in-your-face parenting to constantly compare myself to, I'm going to give you all something to make yourselves feel a little better tonight. Here's how yours truly, the Mother of the Miracles, did today. Full confession mode, y'all.

  • My daughter had a happy meal for lunch for the second day in a row.
  • We barely had any food in the house this morning, so my son had a sandwich on a tortilla in his lunchbox.
  • I yelled at my kids for yelling at each other.
  • I had a marital spat with the love of my life about the speed in which I operate my vehicle.
  • I just ate a chocolate cupcake and drank regular Pepsi. Same time.

I know. It's pretty bad. If some of you choose to unfriend me on Facebook or unsubscribe from my blog, I completely understand.

But you know, here's what else I can say about today:

  • Even though my daughter's been through so much over the last few days, her appetite has thankfully remained untouched.
  • Jackson loved his cool "Mexican sandwich" he had in this lunch. Look out Bento people.
  • The kids are learning to get along well despite their differences.
  • My husband and I will be married for 10 years next year. We've obviously learned to kiss and make up.
  • My thoughtful mom and sister decorated the kitchen table with balloons and got cupcakes to surprise us when we got home from Boston.

Some days, Jackson has a complete balanced and nutritious lunch with BPA-free containers and no plastic sandwich bags. Tomorrow, he's getting a Lunchable. Some days Abby wears her glasses all day, we concentrate on at-home physical therapy and cuddle while reading books. Tomorrow she'll probably be in her PJs and watch cartoons for too long.

If God wanted us to be perfect, he would have made us that way. I love my children and they know they're loved. They're fed, sheltered, protected, watched and prayed over. They're kind, observant, empathetic and polite. They are all of these things because of two imperfect parents, parenting imperfectly.

And I'm pretty proud of how it's going so far.