Let me first just put this on the table…kids are amazing. Being a parent is fulfilling and wonderful and I’ve never known a love quite like it.
But it’s also hard. Really, really hard.
All of it.
Newborns, babies, preschoolers, tweens, teens…heck, even being a parent to an ADULT can be hard (ask my mom!). So I just want to say to everyone struggling out there….it’s okay.
IT IS OKAY!
It’s okay that you feel exhausted.
It’s okay that you want a break.
It’s okay that you sometimes don’t like your kids very much.
It’s okay that you took a weekend away to recharge.
Every single day I know there is a parent out there feeling down on themselves, wondering if they are doing this whole parenting thing right. Guess what? Everyone feels that way at some point and there’s no way around those feelings. There just isn’t.
But there is a way THROUGH them and that’s the key. Parenting is a journey. Every day is different. Every YEAR is different. There are highs and lows, ups and downs, victories and losses.
As parents we are totally stuck in the day to day, yet we know the mantra “the days are long but the years are short” is completely true. So we immerse ourselves in our children, worried that we might miss something. But we MUST make time for ourselves. There is no if, ands or buts about this. You cannot be a good parent if you aren’t taking care of yourself and finding time to be the individual that you are.
Here are some truths for you.
Yes, kids can be jerks.
We all know this, yet when we say it out loud, we are full of immediate guilt. Why is this? I mean, honestly, we ALL can be jerks sometimes. It’s human nature. Bad days happen. And it’s okay to think that your children are less than stellar on occasion. It doesn’t make you a bad parent. It makes you a human being.
Which leads to me to the next truth.
We all make mistakes.
A big “DUH” statement, I know. However, there are moments when we can’t seem to let our mistakes go. We cradle them and hold them close, like they define who we are. They don’t. They are just small pieces (okay, sometimes large pieces) of our story. But we can get past them. Admit your mistakes. Apologize when necessary, and MOVE ON.
Do I yell at my kids more than I should? Yes, I do. And I say sorry when it’s over the top.
Have I said the wrong thing? Have I worried that I handled a situation wrong? OF COURSE.
I’m learning to….and hoping you will learn too…to accept, make amends (if need be) and go along with life.
We, as parents, need to learn to let these things go…to let the guilt go.
We’re never going to get it 100% right…and that’s okay.
Repeat after me. It’s okay.
Believe me, I’m saying it with you.
So to the mom who pleads with her newborn to sleep through the night…you’re doing a great job.
To the dad whose toddler just threw his plate of food on the floor again…hang in there.
To the parent who’s been up all night for the last week with sick kids…it’s going to get better.
To the mom who went out of town WITHOUT her kids, GOOD for you. Don’t worry – Dad, Grandma, Babysitter’s got this.
To the parent who just wants TEN minutes to themselves, take it, wherever you can get it. You’ve earned it.
To the parent who is tired of screaming at their child day in and day out to help out around the house…you’re not alone.
Parenting is hard. It’s amazing and awesome and crazy and overwhelming and HARD! You’re doing a GREAT job!
The next time you have a crappy parenting moment, the next time you feel the guilt over something start to creep in…
Take a deep breath. Release it. And start again.