You know that feeling like you are failing as a parent? I think most parents get that feeling regularly. Well I’ve recently discovered that some of the things I thought made me a not great parent actually may be one of my successes as a parent.
How often do you feel so overwhelmed, tired, or just grumpy and find yourself taking it out on your kids. Like when it takes two hours to get 4 kids to brush their teeth, get in bed, then they all want to cuddle and read a book with you, it’s 9:00, you haven’t worked out or showered, and you get frustrated and yell…or growl and say “I’ll lay with you for 2 minutes, but Mommy has things to do!”.
Then you feel guilty. They won’t always want to cuddle you. One more story won’t hurt. But life gets overwhelming and it’s like you just want to scream. I get like this sometimes, then take a step back. I breathe. I realize it isn’t their fault I’m overwhelmed and grumpy. Then I apologize, sometimes saying, “I’m sorry. Mommy is just grumpy right now. I’m just stressed out. It’s not your fault.”.
Oh wait. Then I second guess myself for saying that. If I’m yelling at my kids to go to bed, then tell them I’m sorry for yelling, does that mean I’m being too soft on them? Is it good to admit you’re losing your mind to your kids? I didn’t think so.
Until last night. My daughter was in her room reading when her 3 year old brother walked in and asked her a question. She harshly said, “Get out Charlie!”.
Sniffling, he started backing out of her room. I then overheard her say, “Come here Charlie. Sissy is sorry. Sissy is just feeling a little grumpy tonight”.
Wow. The fact that my daughter was able to recognize her anger towards her little brother had little to do with him and more because she was just tired and grumpy..and the fact that she was big enough to outwardly admit that and check her emotions seemed pretty amazing to me! It was then that I looked at my parenting fails as possibly successes.
We do the best we can. Sometimes we will feel like we’re failing. But as long as we love our kids, they will see how hard we try. And maybe, just maybe, those fails are actually some of the best learning experiences for you kids.