The truth about parenting

I have been reading books on parenting, trying to find the answers to major parenting questions like how to stop siblings from killing each other? Or how to stop myself from killing the kids? Or how come my kids behave better when I’m not around? Seriously, it’s as if I bring out the worst in them (and they in me for that matter). And what to do with those freaking tantrums?! 🤷🏻‍♀️

I hoped reading about this would make my life easier and my family’s life more enjoyable. Also, it’d be great if my kids grew up not blaming me for how they turn out, which they probably will anyway. Undoubtedly I will have been too soft, too strict, too chirpy, too mad, too much, too little for too long or not long enough, and I should probably just accept this…

I certainly don’t agree with everything I read but I keep whatever I believe is useful. Some things are obvious, some are not, some things I just never thought about. One thing I did learn is that kids need us most when they least deserve it. When they’re acting out and you’ve had more than enough of them, that’s when you need to pull them closer when all you want to do (or at least what I want to do) is push them away.

In a nutshell: connecting is key, try to see things from their perspective, model behavior, add a touch of humor, and there you go! It sounds easy enough, so why am I having such a hard time putting it into practice? The problem is I’m not getting enough sleep (and I need my waking hours without the kids so I don’t forget who I am), finding the right work-life balance is a challenge, and if that’s not enough, for some reason I find it necessary to have friends and hobbies, you know, have a social life…😉 it’s the combination of everything, trying to keep all the balls in the air, that is a recipe for disaster.🤦🏻‍♀️

Sometimes I know I’m doing or saying all the wrong things, going against all parenting advice, making the situation worse instead of better. Like when they say “I want another mommy”. Of course taking this personally and responding with “well, good luck with that, I’ll find another kid then” is not the responsible and adult thing to say. Everybody knows that. I know that but sometimes I just really cannot help myself. I know I should be biting my tongue instead and say something like “but I will still be here and love you no matter what”, as per the parenting handbook; sometimes I do and pat myself on the back for it. 🙌👏

If anything, reading about parenting forces me to think about my relationship with my kids. I like reading about situations that are recognizable as they make me feel less like an alien. It’s also nice to think there’s an explanation for why my kids are acting the way they do as their actions sometimes feel like an attack on my persona (see example above).

Who knew raising tiny humans was going to be so difficult and would require superhuman levels of patience and empathy, lots of coffee, and even more alcohol? Of course I’m exaggerating and overdoing and overthinking things. But I’m a product of today’s society, I can’t help myself. It would help if you, fellow parent, would stop judging how I raise my kids, what I feed them, what extracurricular activities I force upon them (that’s right, none!), or is that all just in my head?🤔 And do I need to stop worrying about what other people may or may not think, cut myself some slack (apparently according to mindful parenting I have to tell my mirror image that I’m a kind mother…on a daily basis…here’s where I draw the line though🙅🏻‍♀️), stop reading and overthinking, and start living and loving?

It’s so funny and I’m sure every parent can relate but every night when I kiss my sleeping kids good night (and it’s imperative that they’re asleep for this to work), I feel nothing but love for them, regardless of how the day went. I feel sorry for whatever it is I did ‘wrong’ that day (if anything…I do have my good days🤘) and promise them to do better tomorrow. 💙

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