Between the endless laundry piles, bottomless stomachs, and countless homework assignments, the will to remain optimistic and have any sense of parent pride begins to crumble rapidly.
No one prepares you for this moment.
The screaming child who is clearly angry with you because you didn’t get Frosted Flakes, instead you got Frosted Corn Chips (or something equally wallet friendly), the pre-teen hormonal outbursts that leave your heart seeping out of your chest, or the horrifying comments like: “Why didn’t you pick me up from school?” “Where were you mommy?”
– insert cracked heart –
If you’ve ever found yourself feeling like you’re not enough, you’ve failed, or you aren’t doing a halfway decent job at parenting I am here to tell you, right now, STOP it!
Last week I found myself having to console a dear friend of mine because her child is getting to an age where she is nutritionally no longer enough. For any mother who has ever nursed, we know the pain. No matter how pretty we paint the words, the sting of thinking “I’m no longer enough for my child” leaves us aching and empty.
This week I had to console myself with the same words when my pre-teen and I had an all out battle that left him so ferociously angry he was shaking and screaming in tears, making fists at me, and left me with my heart a puddle on the floor.
Let’s stop for a moment a remind ourselves of a few things:
- For 9 months, we were enough for our child(ren)
- For the first few weeks of our babies lives when they cried, we were what they needed
- When they fell down learning how to walk, we were what they needed
- When they were learning how to tie their shoes, we were what they needed
- The first day of school jitters were only soothed by us
YOU will always be enough! No one gets through parenthood unscathed.
No matter how selfless we are, how many decision we make, how many how-to guides we try to follow: It’s inevitable.
While we’re busy trying to provide for our children at work, they are busy growing and being nurtured by someone who isn’t us. Whether you choose to eventually quit your job, work from home, or continue working, that decision is yours alone to make and no matter what the answer is you have to be confident in knowing it’s the right answer for you and your family.
This last September I was a fresh faced RN working my first few night shifts when I realized that the first day of school for my boys was right in the middle of one of my work runs. Not only was I going to miss my two oldest first day I was also going to miss my youngest first day the following week.
I had to watch through iMessage pictures my children setting off for their first days of 4th, 2nd and kindergarten. Talk about gut wrenching!
Don’t let guilt burden you.
Some of our most selfless acts are the hardest to carry out. Often times it means cutting the cord to our children just a little more. That doesn’t make you a bad parent or a failure. That makes you the BEST parent and you’re winning, in my opinion.
What concerns do you find bring you to thinking you’re not enough or you’re failing?