Every single day I go to bed wondering if tomorrow I’ll be a better momma. Some nights it’s a fleeing thought. Some nights it lingers and sleeps next to me on a soggy pillow. Being a parent is hard. Emotionally hard. Physically hard. Mentally hard. Just plain old hard. It is the biggest responsibility I have ever known.
Your own childhood stays with you for a lifetime, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Your main caregivers shaped your emotions, and your behaviour, and chances are you still see the resemblance today, whether good or bad.
I grew up with yelling. Every single day aggression and yelling. I learnt quickly that if you were upset or angry, or sad that yelling was the outlet to use. I yell. I hate that trait about myself, but in all honesty it’s a hard habit to break. I am still trying, and will continue to. Some days I don’t yell. Other days I feel like all I do is yell. Those days make me feel consumed with guilt. I convince myself that when I get to the end of my tether with my boys and yell that they’re gonna grow up resenting me and be dysfunctional. I am so aware of making good memories that I feel a failure if my children have a bad one by being yelled at by their momma.
I love my children beyond words and I would sacrifice anything for them, and often do. They’re the centre of my world and will always come first. Nothing could change that yet it’s hard when you feel like you’re always falling short. In comparison to other mums you feel below par and quite frankly just not cut out for your role as a momma. I feel that often.
After particularly shouty days I’ll often scour google and forums looking for some reassurance that I’m not the worst mum in the universe, and lo and behold I find that I’m not alone in my thinking. Other parents yell, yet desperately love their kids and definitely deserve to be a parent. Other parents struggle with the behaviours of their toddlers. Other parents have faced childhood challenges and are overcoming them day by day. Other parents relapse. Other parents cry themselves to sleep. Other parents want to walk out the door. Other parents want to close their eyes and not open them again. I am like other parents. I am real. I am not perfect. I have to remind myself of this daily. Remind yourself too!
My children need love, acceptance, a mentor, a friend, a protector, a teacher, a warrior, loyalty, someone who believes in them, safety, and a bag of hugs that never runs dry. I am all of these mixed in with my flaws. All the rest override my flaws, your flaws. Nobody can be a perfect parent, but you can be the most amazing parent your children need by simply being you and working on your flaws without guilt consuming you.
Sleep easy tonight. Tomorrow is a new day. Pick yourself up and try again. Myself included.