This morning I dropped my kids at school and day care with barely concealed relief. We’ve had a nightmare 24 hours and I am exhausted.
As I get home and start cleaning up the aftermath of a hasty departure, the guilt sets in.
Did I yell too much?
Are my expectations too high?
Are they just being kids?
As I discover a crust from last night’s pizza flung half way across the room, I think at least some of my yelling was justified.
My kids are my whole world. I’m sure you feel the same way.
But parenting is so damn hard. Relentless. Exhausting. Frustrating.
Everyday we are bombarded with new advice about how to parent. I know – I contribute to that flow of information! I write articles on Parenting a Strong Willed Child and How to Yell Less. I’ve conducted endless research on various parenting approaches and follow gurus like Maggie Dent and Stephen Biddulp.
But having this information then being able to call on it and put it into practice 24/7 is unrealistic. In fact, it’s down right impossible.
I think exposure to all this knoweldge is awesome. It informs our parenting style and hopefuly steers us in a positive direction when dealing with difficult interactions with our children.
But we aren’t robots or computers. We can’t download a parenting program and set it to autorun.
As parents and HUMANS we deal with so many competing priorities, as well as external influences that impact our ability to parent effectively at any given moment. Then there are the internal factors – our personal scripts, the way we were raised, lack of sleep and other stressors in our lives – that all effect how we interact with our children.
Being a minimalist, positive parent who embrace hyyge might be a wonderful aspiration but it’s a tall order to fill.
I think the most important thing is to have the knowledge, read what is useful to you, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you aren’t the parent you want to be 100% of the time.
Kids need to know that parents aren’t infallible. We try our best but we are human, we make mistakes. Just like them. After all, we are on this journey together.
When we have a bad day we need to say sorry. Hug. Move on.
Tomorrow is a new day.