Question of the Day (Answer at your own risk)

a happy boyA writer acquaintance of mine (a brilliant mother of five), creator of the website “Manna for Moms” sometimes posts a “Question of the Day” on Facebook, usually related to parenting.

A couple weeks ago she posted this one:

QOTD: What are (at least) two of your strengths and only one weakness, as pertaining to being a parent?

I clicked on the comment box and thought for a second. Then I thought for a minute. Then two. Nothing came. I couldn’t think of even one strength I have as a parent, much less two. Maybe if she had switched the order, two weaknesses and a strength, I could have come up with something.

I minimized the page, figuring I’d come back to it later. I never did.

It’s not that I couldn’t think of anything. It was that every possible “strength” I thought of had to be qualified, meaning it didn’t really count.

I thought of putting, “I try to keep my eye out for ‘teachable moments'” but then I remembered all those teachable moments that passed by without me taking notice of them or making the most of such times. So I couldn’t put that down.

I thought of putting, “I try to teach my kids practical skills and let them help me with jobs” but then I thought of all those skills I have yet to teach my kids, and the things I probably should have helped them master by now which I haven’t. I couldn’t put that down either.

A few more things came to mind, yet each one had a “but” to it, a point that disqualified that act or mindset as a strength. (Maybe I could have put down that I’m a realistic parent.)

I copied down the question as I really did want to answer it, but even now, weeks later, I’m having a difficult time coming up with anything.

I try to notice things and be “in the moment” as a parent but I fail in that all too often.

I love my kids and try to show them, but often my frustrations or impatience get in the way of that.

Then I realized the question wasn’t, “In what area are you absolutely perfect as a parent?” If that was the case, no parent could answer it. But we don’t have to be perfect. We just have to try.

I looked back over my responses and noticed that every one of them had the word “try.” Yes, there are different levels of “try” and some of the lower levels are more a cop-out than an honest effort. But when we, as parents, are making that “honest effort” sometimes that’s the best we can do.

I think it’s enough for our children. And should be enough for us too.

My two strengths as a mother?

  1. I love my kids more than anything in this world.
  2. I try … and when I fail (and I do every day) … I try again.

My weakness?

  1. I need to tell them every day that I love them, and that sometimes the best thing we can do is just keep trying.

About Bonita Jewel

Bonita Jewel is an author and blogger who writes on a variety of themes, including: Literature & poetry Writing Parenting Purpose After living in India from the age of 16 to 28, she returned to California with her husband and three children. She is pursuing a Degree at Fresno State University. Bonita teaches community education at Clovis Adult. Her courses include Blogging Basics, Power Editing, Creative Writing, and Working from Home. She also freelances as an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. Her greatest passions are her family, her faith, writing, and reading. Bonita Jewel has been reading since she was 2 ½. Thirty years later, she still loves the magic and mystery of the written word. She is slowly breathing life into roughly 50 novels and nearly as many nonfiction works, depending on which plot or character seizes her interest at any given time. Please connect with Bonita at:

Posted on September 4, 2013, in Attributes, Life Lessons, Perception, Traits and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I can so relate to every word you wrote. I saw the question last night, but didn’t have time to read the whole post. I spent a good amount of time before I went to sleep trying to figure something out, anything, that I considered my strength. Honestly, I didn’t come to the same conclusion as you, yet (but then, I didn’t have weeks for it, heh) but I like the conclusion you came to. I think, as a mother, I’m much harder on myself than I am on anyone else. I’m so afraid that I’m just never doing a good enough job. I shall have to ponder this for some time.

    • Thanks for your comment. We do tend to be hard on ourselves, as mothers, don’t we? I think our kids probably see us with more grace and love than we see ourselves … and of course God’s grace covers all. 🙂

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