Mother to Mother
Everyone needs a mother to mother read in your day.
“I have to be a great parent to be good enough.”
“I have to parent perfectly so my kids will turn out okay.”
“Kids are scarred for life by the mistakes of their parents.”
“Someone out there knows exactly how to do parenting the right way.”
“If I don’t teach them everything they need to know, I’m a failure as a parent.”
“If I don’t provide them with everything they want, I’m failing as a provider.”
“It’s important that I be my kids’ friend.”
From mother to mother, I just want to share that through my years of parenting I have even questioned myself and maybe even thought these things many times. You’re probably lying if you say you haven’t as well. Parenting in this world today can be hard sometimes. You constantly have the world telling you what to do and what not to do and moms constantly shaming other moms.
What is a perfect parent? Is it the parent who takes the best pictures on social media? The parent who has their kids in the best clothing? Is it the parent that doesn’t vaccinate? Or is it the parent that does? I can tell you this, it doesn’t matter what you do because someone will always have a problem with the way you do things. Something in someone else’s eyes will make you a “bad parent.” My first lesson I learned as a parent is to focus on yourself and what’s best for your child. Take in others opinions but never allow them to define you. You will fail, make mistakes, but at the end of the day you’re your child’s parent, nobody else.
My second biggest learning curve and lesson learned as a parent begins with these questions. Have you ever not followed through on a promise? Have you ever yelled at your child? Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever been so frustrated that something super small sets you off? If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, let me tell you something, It is okay! This does not make you a bad parent if you get frustrated with your child for their behavior or your follow through is not always perfect. Parenting is hard and there is no manual book for how to manage every situation perfectly. As humans we make mistakes, nobody is perfect.
What matters most, especially for your children, is how you address your mistake and REPAIR the relationship. Through my many years of parenting I have learned that as a parent, it is better to acknowledge my mistakes than to ignore it with the belief that a “parent is always right.” The valuable lesson that your child is learning is that it is okay to make mistakes and that apologies matter.
Some may ask, “what does a REPAIR look like?” First, state that you are sorry and why. For example “I am sorry I yelled at you this morning when you took too long to get ready.” Next, state why that was wrong. “It is not okay for me to yell at you when I could be helping you.” Lastly, follow up with a positive expression of love and how you will do it differently next time. “I love you very much and will be sure to take a breath when feeling frustrated next time.” That is it! That REPAIR was short and concise but it sends a strong message of responsibility, validation and love to your child. When you model this behavior at home, you teach your child how to say sorry to their peers and other adults.
At the end of the day I just hope that you realize you’re the perfect parent for your child. It’s not easy to raise a child but I can almost guarantee it’s one of the most rewarding things you will do in your lifetime. I pray that moms stop shaming moms but instead learn to come together without judgment making parenting easier for each other. I pray that as our children grow in this world, we as adults make it a better place for them to be in.