Celebrating National Parents’ Day


Did you know that July 25 is National Parents’ Day? I didn’t! Established in 1994, National Parents’ Day aims to uplift and support the role of parents raising children.

The Universal Peace Federation takes nominations yearly for parenting excellence. Nominations are accepted through July of each respective year. There is a yearly awards banquet to honor nominees and winners. Dignitaries and members of Congress are also invited.

Nominees come from every background, creed, culture, lifestyle, sexual orientation, race, and religion. The criterion includes sacrificial love, overcoming major life difficulties while parenting, high moral virtue or religious commitment, and a history of contributing to family life.

Celebrating National Parents Day

Numerous celebrations for National Parents Day are held throughout the country.

These celebrations include banquets, church services, festivals, and parades. Childcare groups facilitate crafts much like Father’s, Grandparents, and Mother’s Days. Twitter hashtag #NationalParentsDay offers insight into the appreciation, humor, and love of parenting.

Celebrating parents can be a fancy affair if you want.

This can include dressing up for a meal at home or a fine dining experience out on the town (fewer dishes!). 

Other ways to celebrate: 

  • Go on a family hike
  • Look through family picture albums together for a quiet night at home.
  • There are do-it-yourself crafts and homemade cards younger children can make for their parents.
  • Young adults can celebrate with breakfast in bed for their parents, cleaning the car, folding the laundry, or penning a poem.

Parenting can challenge preconceived beliefs and brings sleepless nights (after which you still have to work in the morning!). Many of us impart positive lessons we learned growing up, and discard the not-so-savory ones to our children.

Becoming a parent offers unique insight that often changes our ideas like, “I’d never let my child look at a tablet,” “Why are they letting that child misbehave in the store,” or “My child would never do that.” Before my children, I had those thoughts. From experience, I know they were ill-informed judgments and I don’t make them anymore.

It’s been said that “having children is having part of your heart walking around outside of your body,” and it’s true.

Watching your children experience pain or sickness is worse than any hurt. Passionately advocating for your children, and ensuring they are afforded opportunities to become their best, becomes second nature.

Being tired is a given. I don’t know any parent who isn’t tired; emotionally and physically. The achievements, fun moments, hugs, overcoming obstacles and smiles more than make up for every sleepless night or moment where your patience is tested. I learn from my children each day. We work through emotions and problems transparently. We learn and take on the world together; a team that always rises to and accomplishes any challenge.

COVID-19 created difficulty for family gatherings, but vaccination progress, as well as guidance on keeping those compromised and not vaccinated safe, means we can feel safer celebrating holidays like National Parents’ Day in person.

I’m thankful to my parents for their guidance and support. We depended on their assistance and emotional support throughout COVID. They were lifesavers, cheering us on, getting us through, and helping to maintain a sense of normality.

Becoming a parent taught me courage and strength.

I hope being vulnerable, able to apologize when wrong or admit when I just don’t know, helps teach my children humility, forgiveness, and that all of us have a lot to learn. I’ve learned different children require different parenting, understanding each child, considering individual learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses while ensuring basic manners, respect, and safety are taught.

My forever hero, Fred Rogers, once said, “Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.” Dedicated and determined parents do just that.

I extend thankfulness to all parents on National Parents’ Day.

I see your hard work and tireless dedication. You are seen and appreciated by your children. You are heroes, helping navigate through this sometimes-difficult world. No matter how emotionally worn, exhausted, or short on patience you become, keep showing up. Every parent has these experiences.

I recently asked my therapist, “I work really hard to be a good mom, but I’m not perfect. What if I’m not good enough as a mom?”

She smiled and answered, “The fact you’re asking that question, that you’re reflecting on this, tells me you are indeed a great mom. And by the way, no mom, or any parent, are perfect.”

She was right. About me and about you.

Keep parenting. Keep doing the hard work. Take a moment for yourself this Parents’ Day, even if it’s simply stepping away from the piles of laundry or dishes to sit in solitude and take a moment for yourself. And then get back to it before the laundry or dishes take over!

How will you celebrate National Parents’ Day?

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Elizabeth is a forty something working, in and out of home, mom, of two littles named Vera (8) and Warren (6). She grew up traveling the world with her military family and has been referred to as the most extroverted introvert in the world. She worked in the denim textile industry for years and was called "Norma Rae," and a "Girl Linthead," by her textile family. She relocated to Columbia in 2000 and has been employed by an Electrical Wholesaler in various positions (Accounting, Customer Service, Sales), becoming a "Jill of all Trades," ever since. Eight years ago, she became a mom for the first time and again a year later. She often says becoming a mother is one of her greatest accomplishments and that her children are magic people who bring enthusiasm and joy and the everyday mom struggles into her life each day. While unpublished, Elizabeth is an aspiring author of children's picture books, a bringer of light, sage blessing and smudger, daydreamer, and magic maker of Happy Boxes of Smiles.


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