The Truth on Parenting
Being a parent is no easy job and while many agree with this sentiment often, no one acknowledges the feelings of uncertainty it can bring. I have been a mom for almost 11 years and many times I feel as though I still haven't solved the puzzle of "perfection". You are not the only parent that many be overwhelmed and feel anxiety about the lack of VISIBLE progress or exhausted with trying to what feels like no avail. There have been days where I felt like I wanted to pack a pb&j and a red lip (random but so accurate, ha! Yep, real childish...) in a handkerchief tied to a stick and runaway.
In all honesty, Being able to see the fruits of your labor may not be readily identified within a short period of time. It doesn't mean you aren't doing the work or that your efforts are ineffective...sometimes more time is required and that's ok! There's no time limit on being a stellar parent. We place expectations on ourselves that aren't realistic based on all that we see outside of our home. Truthfully, those parents that you make the poster child for awesome parenting may be hanging on by a thread and we have to realize that our life and our parenting experience is custom made for us.
THERE.IS.NO.SUCH.THING. PERIOD. By placing perfection standards on yourself, you ensure a misstep, ha, ha! Your children aren't looking for perfection, they are simply looking for you too guide them with love, understanding and transparency (as they get older). One day when my daughter was younger, I was responsible for making Valentines treats for a class party... I stayed up all night making the perfect cookies only to drop the container breaking up all the cookies into pieces on the way into the school the next day. I immediately felt judged due to the "Perfect Patty" expectations I placed on myself and thoughts I felt other moms would place on me. I wanted to turn around and go home but I decided to push forward and bring the cookies anyway. The most important part was for me to be there and present with my child but I lost sight of that getting hung up on standards...
Upon entering the class, my Bailey was so happy to see me and looked at the broken cookies, smiled (knowing the effort I put in) and said "Oh, thank you mommy! Hey guys, we have cookie crumble for our ice cream!! In that moment, I felt proud to have input compassion, love and understanding in my child. She gave it to me! (whew, something flew in my eye, lol)
Situations aren't going to always go as planned and you just have to be ok with that sometimes. Don't allow yourself to go into a slump over things you can't change. As frustrating as it can be, moving on can sometimes be the best decision made. Even when mistakes are made, it's how you come back from them that makes a difference on whether it's groomed to be a growing experience or not. Sometimes, taking a time out is necessary. Stop judging yourself for being overwhelmed or exhausted and take a few minutes of mental health vacay.
Share your heart
This one is the biggest for me. I realized the difference it makes and I always make a point to make sure my children know my heart and intention when trying situations arise. You may yell, scream, walk off, hide out in the pantry or all the above. Missing it doesn't make you a bad parent, it affirms you are human. Apologizing to your children, if you blew it during your delivery, makes all the difference in instant repair. Helping them to understand your awareness of missing it and acknowledging their feelings can help your children make great choices when dealing with their anger outside of the home. It gives them an example of how to treat someone especially ones they love. So much can be healed when you share you are open as a parent and it doesn't make you any less of the disciplinarian in doing so. It shows that you mean business just as much as you CARE about the condition of their heart.