There are days when we are simply NOT “Parent of the Year” material!
There are days that we are simply not “Parent of the Year” material, and that is OK!
Well…there are days when I deserve “Mom of the Year” awards and there are days when I don’t. I still struggle at times with emotions and feelings when I question if I just parented correctly, even with semi-adult children! (I did say semi-adult :)) Yesterday was one of those days when I didn’t say the right words, or at least I said too much. (Imagine that, I gave too much advice!) As I hung up the phone I had those feelings and emotions flood my heart that I have felt before…those “Wow that was a bad Mommy moment” feelings.
We talk a lot about how to help our children deal with emotions but don’t often talk about how we can process emotions about parenting. There are days that we are simply tired, emotionally running on empty, and honestly frustrated as a parent. Some days it is difficult to respond to a tantrum effectively 10 times, clean up spilled food 5 times, battle with a poor napper, stay inside another day because of the weather and keep it together as a Mom. Sometimes it is just difficult to parent in a calm and thoughtful way. There were some days when the four kids were little that I just looked to the next day to “start over and be a better Mom” because my day had not evolved as I had envisioned. I had only been able to barely hold on to the basics of parenting and had looked forward to tucking all four into bed that night. I had not been a great Mommy….but in actuality I had been a “good enough” Mommy.
We have to understand that there are days like these. Days that we will make mistakes and days that we love our kids but feel totally overwhelmed with their needs and we may not like parenting at that moment. At those moments, we must handle those feelings without beating ourselves up. The more guilt we feel, the more the parenting tasks seem to take their toll on us emotionally. A parent who is in a “I am a bad Mommy” cycle struggles to parent effectively because guilt gets in the way. When we have these kinds of days we need to be gentle, patient and forgiving to ourselves. When we are nurturing to ourselves we are more likely to break the cycle of that bad day. Having bad parenting days is a part of life. It is OK for our kids to see that there are days when everyone is simply out of synch.
- Share with your kids that, “Wow, Mommy is having a bad day…everyone has those every once in a while. What can we do to make this day better?” Isn’t that a great lesson for your child to learn…life has days that aren’t perfect and we can work to make it a better day!
- Change up your routine that day….take a break. Take everyone for a long walk, forget about the laundry and dishes, or turn on the TV (Did she just say that? 🙂) for 30 minutes and sit mindlessly while your child is entertained…sometimes that little break may reset your day.’
- Say “I’m sorry”. There are days when we all are a bit short-tempered, say the wrong things, or react in a less than perfect way. Saying “I’m sorry” teaches your child that no one is perfect, and that you respect them enough to apologize.
Remember, parenting is a process; one day does not define you as a parent. It is the culmination of countless parenting moments that raises a child. We all need to give ourselves a break, be accepting of our parenting bloopers, and move on to the next moment. So…I am moving on from my not so great “Mom moment” yesterday, and remembering that good days and not so good days are all part of the process, and even those not so good days have lessons for you and your child. Enjoy today…after all it is Friday, and I don’t think Friday can ever be a bad day! TGIF!
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.