The things I tell myself as a parent

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I’m a terrible mother. And I’m failing at it. It’s too hard and maybe I wasn’t cut out for this lifetime role. I sleep in too long. She watches too much TV, and even worse non-educational TV. She loves her screens, that’s bad. She’s an only child and I refuse to play with her in the bathtub. Why? She needs a friend and I’m not her friend. I get too angry. I ignore her sometimes. I get annoyed. I’m frustrated. I’m over it. This is too hard. I’m not good enough. I’m at the point where I wake up and wait for the day to be over, because it’s so hard and I SUCK AND AM FAILING AT IT.

The truth is, these things aren’t true. They’re really not. I’m a good parent. As parents, we’re conditioned to be hard on ourselves. There are so many outside pressures and unsolicited opinions. So how can I ground myself in the truth when it’s easier to beat myself down?

My daughter is happy and well adjusted. She watches TV yes, but we also get outside A LOT. She practices yoga. She reads books. She loves to play educational games. I do put limits on screens. We have a lot of unstructured time right now and it’s okay if we’re not filling up every second. Yes, I get annoyed but I’m doing this by myself most of the time. All parents get annoyed. All parents get frustrated. Some parents lose it, and I’m one of them. But I always correct my mistakes. I apologize. I reflect. I learn. I grow.

These beginning thoughts are so intrusive they mess with my mental health and overall perceived self-worth. How many other parents struggle with this? Is it all of us? If so, why don’t we talk about it more. I would love to correct the negative thoughts from my fellow parent friends. But I understand the stigma in talking about it. I can only get the thoughts out in my journal or on my blog. It’s easier to talk to a piece of paper or a computer screen.

If anyone reading this has ever felt this way, you’re doing your best. Your best if good enough right now. Just keep on nurturing yourself and your inner child. Practice self compassion. Learn, grow, and try again. This IS the role of a lifetime and we’re all learning as we go.

Note to myself: take your own advice.

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