As another year draws to a close, it’s natural to look back at the highs and lows of the last twelve months. Our time with our children is so precious, and seems to go so fast that it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like we have to get everything right every day — and beat ourselves up for the times our parenting skills are less than perfect.
But remember what Hal Borland said: “Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on.”
As we move into 2023, take the opportunity to consider your personal parenting priorities, and to look forward to what the year ahead will bring. Whether that’s challenges from which to learn, or those sky-high moments where family life flows like a magical dance, it’s all part of your parenting journey, so enjoy it.
Welcoming In the Year Ahead
“Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.” — Jonathan Lockwood Huie, author.
“Don’t make plans. Make options.” — Jennifer Aniston, actress.
“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” — Mary Oliver, poet.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.” — Dan Millman, gymnast, coach and lecturer.
Be Supportive, But Make Time For Yourself
“You don’t have to be perfect to help people. All you have to be is real.” — Trent Shelton, motivational speaker.
“We’re at our best when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for our past mistakes but when we help each other to grow.” — Joaquin Phoenix, actor.
“When we get home at night, we plug in our phones. But we don’t think of ourselves as phones that need to be recharged. You need to make sure you’re getting back up to 100 percent.” — Bobby Berk, designer.
“When juggling as much as you are, remember that some balls are glass, and some are rubber. You can’t drop the glass balls.” — Nora Roberts, author.
The Joys of Parenthood
“The beauty of motherhood is not in the freshly pressed shirts and smiling photos we show the world. The beauty of motherhood is in the folds and creases of our lives, the grimaces and tantrums, the moments when we have to grit our teeth to get through, when we pound on windows and yell and scream and demand better of each other and ourselves.” — Robyn Passante, blogger.
“Parenting without a sense of humor is like being an accountant who sucks at math.” — Amber Dusick, blogger
“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” ― Franklin P. Adams, newspaper columnist.
“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.” — Nora Ephron, filmmaker.
Nurturing Your Children
“Encourage and support your kids because children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” — Lady Bird Johnson, former First Lady of the United States.
“Behind every young child who believes in himself is a parent who believed first.” — Matthew Jacobson, blogger.
“Affirming words from moms and dads are like light switches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities.” — Gary Smalley, family therapist.
“There are so many quiet times you spend as a mother that aren’t glorified but are a foundation for your kids. No matter what, there was always a thick safety net under this trapeze.” — Tina Fey, actress and comedian.
And A Few Word for the Dads
“Dad needs to show an incredible amount of respect and humor and friendship toward his mate so the kids understand their parents are sexy, they’re fun, they do things together, they’re best friends. Kids learn by example. If I respect Mom, they’re going to respect Mom.” — Tim Allen, actor.
“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” — Sigmund Freud, psychotherapist.
“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived and let me watch him do it.” — Clarence Budington Keller, author.
“A father is a person who wants his son to be as good a man as he wanted to be.” — Frank A. Clark, congressman.
“Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” — Wade Boggs, baseball player.