Have you ever felt this way, that your children deserved either a better you or even a different mother? A mother that could do a better job? A mother that could be more patient, more kind, more loving, more creative?
You are not alone if you have ever felt that way. We ALL have bad days, we all have days where we feel as if parenting is challenging everything we have in us and we are failing and that we are not living up to the standards we are setting for ourselves. I have only heard of one or two parents out of ALL the parents I ever spoken with NOT say something along these lines.
It can be difficult. Sometimes we feel terrible when we are losing it and an older child is witness or we have a baby on our arm. We would feel terrible enough just to cry or yell or fall apart by ourselves, let alone with witnesses!
Some of us are dealing with more chronic things than just the occasional fall-apart in front of our kids. Some of us are dealing with death, divorce, spousal difficulties, depression, parenting alone or other things going on.
The question is, what do we do?
We can try. We set the tone in our home whether we set it unconsciously or consciously. Each day, each moment, we can try to set the tone in our home toward our ideal. It is never too late to change, to try, to stop in the middle of a sentence and do something different. It is never to late to take your child and love them.
We can forgive ourselves for not being perfect. We are not perfect, we are human. We all fall short at times. We can be kind to ourselves and show our children how to have grace when we make a mistake.
We can get help. We can ask for help from our family, our friends, our neighbors. We can get counseling, we can talk to the spiritual leaders who speak to our hearts, we can get support. We can investigate if our physical health is impacting our minds, our patience. Many medical professionals are available to help.
We can take it easy. Maybe this is the day we need to take off from school and go hiking. Maybe this is the day we just need to go garden outside for most of the day. Maybe this is the day we just need to relax and recharge.
We can focus on bedtime and catch some precious moments to ourselves after the children go to sleep and use that to meditate, pray or engage in spiritual work.
We can do our best to go to sleep; I am convinced many of the challenges mothers are facing could be helped if mothers would go to bed and get some rest. We so often feel we have to satisfy everyone’s needs but our own; our own sleep is paramount to do this!
Your children do not need a different mother, they need you. They need a rested you, a calm you, but also a you that shows them how to recover from a mistake, a you that shows them we can still do things wrong and make it right, a you that is resilient in the face of life.
You can do this, your children picked you to be their mother and they picked your family to be a part of and participate and grow in. Find the love and joy and laughter, it is there.