As both kids lay in their beds crying becasue they didn't want to go to sleep, I starting thinking... what makes a good parent? Is it those who's every breath is dedicated to making their little one's wants/needs come true? Or is it the one who sits in front of the TV all day while the kids sound out what is under the kitchen sink?
It's hard to find your way as a parent. One minute you're the creme de le creme, the next you're the 'bad guy'. What's even worse is that there are so many schools of thought on what makes a great parent that half the time your left scratching your head. If you spank your child then you are doing nothing but inflicting long term damage on to the kids. However if you don't then you as a parent have allowed your child free reign.
I don't know if I'm a good parent although my husband likes to tell me otherwise. I love my children with all my heart and because of that, I want nothing more than for them to grow up to be healthy, happy, productive members of society. How I do that may not suit another's taste but that's okay. We are all learning on the job and there is no way for one person to be better suited at parenting than another. Like Dr. Phil once said, "You do what you know."
What I know is this: loving your child, setting boundaries, expecting something of them (within reason, of course!), and just flat out being their biggest advocate is, in my opinion, what makes a great parent. You don't have to cater to their every whim or fancy. Saying no doesn't make you a bad parent just like saying yes will make you a push over.
Children grow up too fast to care that you bought them every coloring book, educational gadget, or hot toy they wanted. What they'll remember the most is spending time with you. That's the greatest gift a great parent can give: Time.