Jos_Jennmugshot

Being a parent can be a struggle, and there is definitely not an instruction manual. For the most part, we’re just winging it.

I have days that I’m certain my kids are going to be messed up. But a wise person once told me that if I worry that much about it then I’m probably, actually, a good mother. The jury is still out.

The truth is, none of us know what we’re doing, really. Some try to live up to the greatness of their parents while others try to do better.

Heck, I’m still trying to figure out what kind of a parent I even am. And I have an 18-year-old and a 9-year-old. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, you can always work at it.

I am constantly evolving, changing my disciplinary tactics and renegotiating the structure in my home.

I know I wasn’t an easy kid, so I have no idea why I expect more from my own. I was sassy, stubborn and talked waaaaaay too much. My grandpa actually called me “Windy” when I was young. I never understood it until my son came along.

And I’ve made my fair share of parenting fails.

I’ve shut my daughter’s finger in the door, hit my son’s head on the door frame carrying him to bed and fed them ice cream after 9 p.m. on a school night. I’ve screamed so loud at them that you’d think I was in a bar fight, forgotten to send lunch money and spaced off parent-teacher conferences.

But I’ve also sat up for what seemed like 48 hours straight to comfort an upset tummy, rocked and rocked a teething infant, cried with my teenager, high-fived third-place in a contest and hung up scribbled ramblings from art class on my refrigerator. That’s what parents do.

While none of us are perfect, we try. And at the end of the day, that’s what counts.

Jenn Hall can be reached at jenn.hall@newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SJNPHall.