Lately I feel like I'm having trouble shaking this feeling of insecurity as a parent. I swear I dealt with this better a few years ago, when I just had Donovan and he was younger. I mean, I still felt like an incompetent parent a lot of the time and had no clue what I was doing, but I at least felt good about the toys I chose for him, the sorts of things we did together, our loose and free routine.
But now it seems I keep coming across people and blogs who are doing all these cool activities with their kids and I'll think, "Wow, that's so neat! And, um... I'm not doing anything like that with my own kids.... Shit, are they totally missing out?" This is my love/hate relationship with Montessori parenting blogs- I'll find them and initially love them for the inspiration, then as I read new posts and see these great ideas that I never get around to implementing they just become a reminder of my perceived failings as a parent.
It also doesn't help that the past few times I've taken Donovan to the doctor I've had to fill out a form asking about his abilities, and a lot of the questions will be about things we've just never done. Can he fasten his own buttons? Draw a person with three complete parts? Copy a cross? Um, my guess is sure but I've never even thought to ask him to do any of that stuff (I'm not sure any of his clothes even have buttons), and he hasn't just done it on his own. And so then I feel like a crap parent because my kid has never done these things that must be so totally normal and common. Is it my fault? Am I not encouraging them enough or providing them with enough enriching activities? Will they miss out on something essential because I didn't think to play the right kind of games with them or try to get them to draw the right kinds of things?
And I know this is all ridiculous. I laughed at myself just writing that paragraph because it just sounds so silly when I write it out like that. I know I'm a good mom, I know we do cool things together, I know my kids have SO MUCH and are bright and amazing and wonderful. When I watch them and listen to them and am wowed by them I have no reason whatsoever to think they're "missing out" on anything.
And yet. I know comparing kids or parenting styles or individual strengths vs weaknesses is fruitless. I've always embraced the idea of the "good enough" parent, that perfection is not only unattainable but not even necessarily desirable. Yet I still find myself bogged down by this nagging insecurity sometimes, this fear that I'm not doing enough. That I'm failing my kids somehow.
I know I must not be alone in this. How do you deal with that fear?