As a parent, I think we all want to, ultimately, do our best by our children. We want to do them justice by being the parents we’ve always believed we could be.
It’s a noble ideal, and one that is much more difficult to achieve than we thought before actually becoming parents.
Probably the biggest reason we have a hard time doing our children justice is because we’re burnt out.
It happens to everyone.
Parenting is no easy gig. It’s frustrating and stressful and confusing and intimidating and so involved.
And I, as a stay-at-home mom to two toddlers, have the luxury (and sometimes curse) of being with my children all day, every day.
That gets exhausting.
The easiest way to feel like you’re failing as a parent is to let yourself be overcome by your job. We sometimes throw ourselves in so fully that we don’t realize we just need some air.
Things start to overwhelm us—we get so lost in the function of being a parent that we forget that we are human, too.
And it’s impossible to truly parent well when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out and just over it.
You’re not doing your kids any favors, if you’re not doing yourself justice.
No matter how good a parent you are and no matter how good a parent you try to be, you simply cannot do it well without allowing yourself the time to be human.
How can I teach my girls about the world when all I’m thinking about is nap time? How can I help my oldest get to the potty on time when I’m trying to ignore them?
How can I teach my children to be their best selves when I myself am not at my best?
We all need a break sometimes. We all need a recharge. For some, it just takes a reheated-for-the-eighth-time coffee; for others it’s a workout every day; for still others it’s going out with friends on the weekend.
Sometimes we need to do something creative—paint or draw or build something. Sometimes we need to go for a walk and feel the wind in our hair. Sometimes we need a nice, hot, uninterrupted shower.
Whatever it is that makes you feel human, do it. You deserve it.
Your children deserve you at your best. And you’re doing no one justice—not your children, and certainly not yourself—by muddling through, pretending everything is fine.
Trust me. I get it.
You’re a wonderful parent. But you’re also a human.
Do yourself justice, and you can go on to do your children justice.