Let’s be honest! Raise your hand if you think your the worst parent on the planet at the moment?
- Did you just yell at your kid?
- Did you just ignore your kid because you were on your cell phone?
- Did your kid just fall right in front of you or did you even drop him or her?
- Do you work long hours or travel and don’t feel like your kid knows who you are?
Well, you are not alone! I think in this high pressured world with social media, selfies and the lot, we are looking at other peoples lives through the illusionary lens of perfection. The TV is showing us families in a way that even though they are far from perfect, they make us feel like failures. Memes that say, “Relationship goals” are everywhere!
My hand is up too! Is it because of Mercury in retrograde? I don’t know, but I’m feeling like a complete failure at life at the moment. But it’s just a moment, and life is a cumulation of moments. Some good and some bad, but again it’s just a moment. Sometimes it feels like you can’t get anything right, let alone raise a caring and purpose-driven child, especially in the time of social media narcissism. So what do you do?
- Breathe-Every parent has yelled at their kid. Why? Because we are freaking human and make mistakes. But not every parent will go to that child and say. “I’m sorry I yelled at you sweetheart, I’m having a bad day or what you did was not acceptable but I can tell you that without yelling. I’ll try and do better!” Set the example of how you want your kids to handle conflict.
- Breathe-Sometimes your cellphone is how you work, or you need a few minutes to yourself. Tell your kid the truth and set a limit. For example, “I know you would like my attention, but I need to do something on my phone. How about I’ll set the alarm on the phone for 30 minutes, and when that alarm goes off, you’ll have my undivided attention.” Stick to it!
- Breathe-Kids fall and your response will strengthen them or create an attention seeking nightmare. How about instead of running over with panic all over your face you calmly jog over and ask, “Are you okay?” with concern and assess the damage. Your child will see that you care and you won’t teach them that screaming for every fall will get your attention. Teach positive attention-seeking patterns, not negative attention ones.
- Breathe-Work life balance is difficult but necessary! Before taking that dream job give clear guidelines to your employers about family and work. If you don’t have that kind of “pull” create a budget to see where your money is going and find a way to prioritize family and work. You may need to give up some luxuries, but you will have family who loves you beyond your ability to bring home the bacon. You could also create a special night, like taco Tuesday! I know I stole that one from somewhere. The point is to make your family feel important I know easier said than done with bills and stress but no one ever left the plain of existence saying they regretted spending time with their kids!
These are only “suggestions” people, and I am not perfecting any of them, but the most important suggestion is to BREATHE. Don’t be so hard on yourself because you are doing the best you can. Oh, a good cry on the toilet helps too! Keep going warrior parents and know that your babies love you so let them see you fail but show them that you can get right back up. One of the best lessons of all!