Successful Parenting (Parental KPI’s and Sick Leave)
If you’ve worked for any company worth their salt, you’ll have had KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) that you would need to meet. They’re there to show how great (or terrible) you are at your job. Whether it’s X number of sales, answering a certain number of phone calls or emails, or completing things to a certain quality, standard or time frame, nearly everyone has KPI’s of some sort. Usually if you meet your KPI’s you get to keep your job (although that’s not always the case.)
When I was preparing to stay home, I was wondering what KPI’s I had to meet as a parent to be deemed a successful one:
Change X number of nappies?
Feed X number of times a day?
Bath them a certain number of times a week?
Maybe it’s limiting their screen time? (Yes, screen time is a thing these days!)
Teach them how to catch and kick a ball?
I had no idea what the definition of a successful parent was, let alone what counted as a pass mark. During the first few weeks of being at home, I would look at all the mums who are at home full time and wonder how they made it look so effortless! How they accomplished so much so easily. Well this is what I’ve discovered…..ready? The secret is……
There are no KPI’s! There is no measurement or benchmark of success. And it certainly isn’t easy!
It’s quite hard for someone like me who’s come from a corporate background to get used to that. If I don’t have stats to measure myself on, how do I know if I’m doing good or not? Turns out looking after kids isn’t the same for everyone (durrr). All parents are different and all kids are different! I know from conversations I’ve had and blogs I’ve read that for some parents, a pass-mark is if their kids have made it to bed alive. As long as they haven’t seriously hurt themselves or died then that is a successful day.
The goals of a parent are a little more abstract and subjective than a business. Are your kids happy? Are they loved? Are they fed and clothed? If you can tick things like this off the list, then you’re doing ok. As for making it look easy, you won’t see the breakdowns and tears that a mum or dad may have in the shower, or the extra glass (or bottle) of wine at night. Some days can be great, some can be hell, but no matter what, you have to pick yourself up and do it again tomorrow.
This brings me to my next point, sick leave. Turns out there is no such thing when you're the at home parent. If you’re sick, too bad! (I've been sick the past week.) If you can get out of bed, then you’re fit enough to parent. There’s no boss to say “you don’t look well, go home.” The kids still need to be fed, entertained and looked after. This is where friends and family can come in handy, because getting even just an hour to yourself when you’re sick is enough to keep you from going insane. And if your kids get sick first, you can almost guarantee that you’re next on the hit list.
Kids are basically mini terrorists. But they’re also mini magicians. If you can get past the hard times, you will almost always be amazed by the magic they bring to your life. When my oldest daughter randomly climbs up on me and hugs me and says “I love you daddy” before running away, it makes it all worth it.
P.S I know I said everyone has a different parenting style, but I’ve seen some definite parent fails e.g. filling your 2 yr olds water bottle with Mountain Dew. No no no, don’t do it.
How do measure success as a parent? Comment below or on my Facebook page!