Wednesday, June 18, 2014

You're not a bad parent.

As a mother of two, I can honestly say that I've had plenty of days where I've felt like a bad mother. What I'd like to say is that we've all, as parents, been there, but I can't speak for everyone. I can only speak from experience.

This picture sums up parenting rather well.

When I found out that I was pregnant, I was 17-years-old. And when you're 17, you know it all, right? Ha! I thought that I knew what came along with raising a child, but judging based on how much I've learned along the way, it's as if I knew nothing at all. In fact, I'm still learning, and as parents, we will continue to learn until the day that we die.

When I gave birth and welcomed my little bundle of joy into my world, life became far more difficult than I had imagined it being at the still-tender age of 18. It was hard. And some days, it still is. There are ups and downs, twists and turns. There are days when I feel useless and those dreadful three words "I'm a bad mom," play on repeat in my head. On the other hand, there are days when I feel incredibly proud of myself as a mother.

My son, crying on his birthday after he "got a boo-boo" while I comfort him.

You cannot avoid these feelings. It comes with the job, ladies and gentlemen. Being a parent is no simple, leisurely walk in the park. In fact, it's more like walking in the park on a beautiful day, tripping on your shoelaces, falling face first into a pile of dog poo, but still standing back up, wiping the crap off, tying those damn shoelaces, and continuing on to your destination, enjoying the scenery like nothing ever happened.

The point that I'm trying to make here is that as a parent, you'll have beautiful days--but sometimes beautiful days end up with you failing and feeling like crap (and sometimes even smelling like crap). But you know what? You'll stand back up, you'll shake it off, you'll LEARN from your mistakes (tie those shoes!), and you'll continue enjoying every single moment of it. Oh, and the ice cream? It's just a metaphor for hugs and kisses from your children at the end of the day. It makes it worth it.

Carter, enjoying himself at the beach, as he throws sand and rocks.

I'm not sure what you did, or why you're here reading this. Maybe you yelled too loud after your son spilled his cup of juice on the carpet, despite you having told him to leave it at the table six times. Perhaps you didn't feel like cooking a big dinner, so you just popped a couple of hot dogs in the microwave and threw a handful of chips on his plate. Whatever happened, it clearly made you question your abilities as a parent. It made you feel less than. But what I want you to realize is that as long as you're not abusing your child, teaching him or her destructive behaviors, or neglecting them, then everything will be just fine.

Children are resilient. They're forgiving. They're full of love, light, and laughter and it's absolutely beautiful (even if they are laughing because you fell face-first into a pile of poo)! Don't waste your time worrying about the little mistakes that you make, and instead, focus on your triumphs!

Jumping in the rain.

You're a parent, yes. You're raising a child, yes. But you're also human. You can be cranky and forgetful. Sometimes you might let the dishes and laundry pile up. Maybe you occasionally curse more than you should. You. Will. Make. Mistakes. But that does not make you a bad parent.

It's in these moments of vulnerability that we learn the most. It's in these moments that we push ourselves to become better. You live and you learn, and that's what parenting is all about.

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1 comment:

  1. What a lovely post. It's so true - we all do the best we can with what we have. All of us feel like the "bad parent" at times - but that's probably what makes us good parents - the willingness to look at our behaviour and change it next time. Thanks for sharing!


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