Not a better parent, just a better person overall.
You can’t grab a bag of chips for dinner, lest your kids take note and develop their own crappy eating habits. You can’t whine about your weight lest your kids develop their own self-esteem issues around weight. You can’t yell fuckwad! at the screen every time Sean Hannity opens his mouth. Occasionally you have to you turn off the TV altogether and open a book.
You have to make the bed. (Well, at least you probably should.)
You have to watch your language when you smash your head on the couch. Hard. You can’t talk about your neighbors/teachers/parents/kids’ friends behind their backs. You have to make good on promises. You have to make good on threats.
And probably, most daunting of all, you actually have to wait until the big red hand becomes the white walking person before you cross the street–which could only be more annoying if there were zero cars coming, and not the single 1992 Lincoln going 5 miles an hour that’s still six blocks away.
There are definitely times I don’t know that I’m up for this. Even three years later, it all seems like a huge freaking personality transplant, like all my insides and vital organs have been sucked out my ears then replaced entirely with new stuff that’s programmed to set examples actually worth following.
Parenting is hard.