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Today was undeniably brutal, and you felt like you were failing as a parent. I feel you! Such days can be incredibly heartbreaking.
You see, being a mom can be isolating at times. It expects more from us when we feel we have nothing more to give. It is exhausting and often undervalued.
And despite being one of the most exciting and fulfilling jobs we will ever have, motherhood can still put our sanity to the test.
On days like this, we just snap! We yell, get frustrated, or let off steam at full throttle.
You didn’t mean to. I know! You probably later regretted your children seeing it and now you think you’re falling flat, feeling like you’re failing as a mom.
When these moments come up, it’s imperative to take a step back and reflect.
We all have been there at some point. All parents feel they have failed their kids somehow. We naturally want the right things for our kids and hold ourselves to a remarkably high standard for them. There’s nothing wrong with that!
“The most powerful way to change the world is to live in front of our children the way we would like the world to be.”
~Graham R White
You are not the only one feeling like a failure as a parent!
When you start to feel like you’re not enough as a mother, find other moms you can relate to. It can go a long way when you spend time with people in the same phase of life. You never know how often other parents can change your approach to things.
By doing so, you will realize that other moms make mistakes too! It’s easy to think you’re failing as a parent when you don’t have a community to support you.
Cliché as it sounds, “No man is an island!“
Sometimes, seeing people slip up as you do is all you need to feel validated.
Be gentle with yourself.
Life will always challenge you every step of the way, testing your strength and resilience — looking forward to seeing how you will react to each trial.
Don’t be too hard on yourself! Remember that you are enough and that you’re a wonderful mother.
Real motherhood is messy, wild, and honest. Sharing that with your kids is a priceless gift!
Try mindful parenting.
Exercise mindfulness when you can. Leave out the notion that things have to be perfect. Know that your kids don’t need a flawless mom — they need YOU!
Relieve the burden by working on managed breathing and slowing things down. In stressful situations like the one today, your calm is what your kids need.
Don’t worry about the dirty dishes and the clutter of dirty clothes. They can wait!
Make peace with your regrets.
Regrets are a forceful part of our biological makeup. They help us right the wrongs and make smarter decisions down the road. They are inevitable and most definitely a normal part of life.
There will be days on our motherhood journey when we unintentionally display our poor behavior towards our children. As disappointing as that sounds, it happens — and we must embrace it.
We are allowed to have bad days too. Lashing out and crying over it in our closet only means we’re human. What matters is that we keep trying!
It may be difficult to confess to your kids, but owning up to your actions can help you build stronger bonds with your children. That feeling of failing like a parent will only prevent you from connecting with them.
Compassion goes a long way.
At the end of the day, bad things do happen. We’re all in the same boat. Give yourself a little grace. A little leniency can work miracles. Accept the fact that none of us will ever be perfect.
Draw hope from that feeling of failing as a parent.
YOU’RE A GREAT MOM! Doubting your abilities makes you a great one. Draw hope from that! Also, remain hopeful that these feelings of self-doubt will soon pass. These are just temporary — a mere phase to test your stability.
And when it’s over, pat yourself on the back! It takes strength to surpass such agony.
Ask for help.
Most of us are working through our childhood traumas and unlearning behaviors that we have held on to our whole lives. We may have had absent or emotionally unavailable parents, and these things can leave a lasting impact.
Being a parent often highlights these things for us in a way that makes us feel we’re failing ourselves and our children. In moments like these, it is critical to find ways to heal.
Everyone may “paddle one’s own canoe” in various ways, but therapy is a powerful remedy. It helps unpack certain unhealthy emotions and shed light on why they keep reoccurring. Talking to a trained expert to support you while you work through challenges on your own can be favorable.
You may discover along the way that some of the ways you show up for your children are ways your parents showed up for you that you’d rather unlearn.
Therapy can aid you in focusing on solutions that you can implement in your home to create more peace while being present with your children.
Take better care of yourself.
Parenting is full of unending responsibilities. With all its trials and tribulations, you can only take so much. One thing it will teach you is to take better care of yourself.
- Take that shower!
- Get enough sleep.
- Stay active.
- Do something you love daily.
- Squeeze in a few hours a week for a face and back massage.
- Go out with your friends.
Do whatever it takes to be happy. To be happy is to be healthy!
Final thoughts about feeling like failing as a parent
Parenting is hard work! It could teach you lessons you never once believed in — lessons you never thought worth learning.
But remember this — If you are questioning yourself, you’re probably doing more than just “good enough.”
Be mindfully gentle not just with your children but also with yourself. Feeling like failing as a parent is predetermined. It will disappoint us no matter what, but you must learn to embrace those regrets.
Say sorry when you have to. Your kids are perfect reflections of yourself. They learn from what they see in you (flaws and all). Apologizing when you mess up can be a tremendous example of good parenting.
Let your misgivings teach them to cope. Your failures as a parent will only teach them to be better grownups someday.
Stay hopeful even with life’s uncertainties. And if being hopeful won’t help, seek professional assistance.
Lastly, remember to take care of yourself! Your little ones need you more than anyone else. You don’t want them to believe you let yourself go because of them.
You got this, Mama! Hang in there.