“Have you ever felt so overwhelmed as a parent that you think you are totally failing? Dumb question, I am sure everyone has.
Have you ever yelled at your kids because you are just so tired, and all they did was ask you to get them something? But you think, ‘Get it yourself, I am not your slave!’
Have you ever screamed, ‘NO! not now!’ to them asking to play with you? But you are doing work instead.
Have you ever just let them play on their iPad for hours, because you needed some ‘you’ time, yet felt so guilty about it? But you still did it anyway?
Have you ever gotten impatient, and yelled at them for absolutely no reason, other than them saying ‘Mommy’ or ‘Daddy’?
Have you ever secretly been so happy when they just go to sleep? If you said no to this, I am sure you are not being honest.
Have you ever cried to yourself in the bathroom, where they can’t hear you? Because all you need is a break for 5 minutes from cooking, cleaning, homework, problems, whining, screaming, crying?
Have you ever felt so guilty for all the above mentioned points, and thought, ‘Man, I must be the worst parent on the planet. Why did I even have kids if those things happen?’ You think they think the same thing too. You think they must think other parents are better, and they will be twice the parent you are when they have kids. I know I said that about my own mom.
Here is a little secret I learned: All the above points I have done many times, and then all the doubt sinks in, and I think to myself, man I suck as a parent.
Let me explain; many times, I have allowed my daughter to be on the iPad for hours at a time, while I took a quick nap because I was just so exhausted. My friends are all out with their kids, doing pottery and ballet, and I am at home, and my daughter is on her electronics. Do I feel judged? Sometimes. Other times I don’t really care. I say that, but secretly I do care. Don’t we all?
We then start to doubt this parenting gig, we ‘should’ be doing all that other stuff with them, we ‘should’ be enrolling them in some sort of state of the art dance school, we ‘should’ put them in an activity, and we ‘should’ have them busy all of their free time. God forbid they get bored, this would be detrimental!
We ‘should’ be doing things for them, all the time, every time they ask us, because after all, they are these little people and they can’t actually do anything for themselves (insert sarcasm here). We ‘should’ be at their beck and call, because that is the right thing to do as parents. How else will they learn to do things on their own… better to have an adult do it for them, right?
We ‘should’ be their chef, cook 5 different meals because they don’t like potatoes that day, even though the day before it was their favorite thing in the world (you all know what I am talking about!). We ‘should’ be excited to do homework with them, because after all, doing grade 3 one time on our own wasn’t enough! And we ‘should’ never yell – yelling is bad, it causes some sort of brain imbalance and then BOOM! Your kid is now in a state of depression, because you yelled one time they just said your name TOO MANY TIMES!
So, what’s my point in this article? My point is, I have done every single thing on this list, and have doubted my parenting skills thousands of times. I have made my daughter cry; she has made me cry. I have had to apologize for yelling, and have gone into the bathroom crying. I have woken her up just to hug her and tell her I love her, because that night I lost my patience. I have asked God multiple times why she chose me as her mom, of all people. I ‘should’ be doing more.
Now that the ‘should’s’ are out of the way, I can tell you what I have learned over the past 9 years being a mom:
EVERYONE is the same, even if they don’t admit it. Every parent has done one or more of the things on this list and it is OKAY!!!
The word ‘should’ should be a bad word and ‘should’ be removed from the English language.
The most important lesson I learned of all:
When it is all said and done, our kids are the ones who end up telling us, in their own ways, we are by far the best people in their lives, and none of the above matters. How do I know this? Because although I have yelled, lost patience, cried for no reason, apologized, and lost my sh*t again, my daughter still decides to do her school presentation on me.
Trust me, we are human, and they somehow know that. So don’t beat yourself up too much for feeling overwhelmed and needing a break from this so-called ‘parenting gig’ – to them, we are their heroes.
Keep on keeping on, and every time you doubt yourself, remember, you are their heroes.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jen Chaitman, 39, of Canda. Follow her on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories from Jen here:
‘My spouse’s needs were put to the side. I focused solely on my child’s needs. So, we ended up getting a divorce.’: Woman grows apart from husband after daughter’s rare genetic disorder diagnosis, enters 40s with ‘my best foot forward’
‘Abby got annoyed with a little boy. She tried to stab him with her pencil. Yup, you heard right.’: Mom of special needs child was ‘mortified, in shock,’ but grateful her school was ‘supportive’ and ‘loves’ her daughter
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