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Monday, May 6, 2013

You're not a terrible parent.

I think I've known I wanted to be a mother, pretty much all my life.  I've always wanted two or three children.  I've always known I would be fully involved and eventually become a working soccer mom. I've always loved the idea of being an involved parent or "soccer mom."  Someone who knows her children's friends, participates in their extracurricular activities, and is a part of their daily life.  These are things I look forward to as my son grows up and we plan on other children.

Currently, we have one - an almost two year old boy.  I enjoy spending time with my son; watching him grow, seeing him evolve.  It's all very interesting (he does something new every day!), and rewarding.  It can also be very tiresome.  Although I feel pretty lucky to have a healthy, happy, usually obedient toddler - sometimes, he can be exhausting.

After a long, fun, and tiring family filled weekend, I'm back to work.  Sometimes work seems like the place you go to take a break.  And I guess in some ways, it is.  While 'taking a break' from home life, I came across a great article titled To parents of small children: Let me be the one who says it out loud.  In the article, a Pastor talks about this experience with his three small boys. The best part is when he says: 

Let me be the one who says the following things out loud: 
You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your friend’s children do. She’s obviously using a bizarre and probably illegal form of hypnotism. 
You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they’d be put in prison. 
You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively devise. 
You are not a terrible parent if you’d rather be at work. 
You are not a terrible parent if you just can’t wait for them to go to bed. 
You are not a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop. 
You’re not a terrible parent.

Oh how I can relate! Those slobbery kisses, that infectious laugh, all the endless hugs and cuddles - the "see ya mom!" and "I love you"'s never get old.  But the crying battles and tantrum fits can be exhausting.  Oh how I can relate.

I guess what was most powerful for me is knowing I'm not alone. I know I'm a good mom. A damn good mom.  I'm very involved in my son's life and I strongly believe in the nurturing parenting principles (lots of encouragement, praise and positive discipline).  I strongly believe in having respect when disciplining and expecting respect back.  But there are times when EVERY parent can't help but feel terrible for yelling at their child who just pulled on their last nerve.  Or the mom who feels guilty for wanting to go to work or looking forward to their child's bedtime (sometimes it's the ONLY time we have to unwind).  I know the moms (and dads) I know have been through this.  I also know they are trying their best.  And sometimes, that's all we can do.

At the park with our lil' one.
My husband snapped a photo of us sharing ice cream & laughs in the sunshine!


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