They say being a parent is the hardest job there is.
You’re responsible for raising a tiny human into a bigger human, then sending them off into the world virtually unscathed. (No pressure!)
But just when you think you’ve hit a wall and you’re all out of patience, energy and answers, remember this: You are the best person to raise your kids. Yes, you!
The fact that you care and you worry and you stay awake through all those sleepless nights means that your heart’s in the game — and that’s what really counts.
There is no one-size-fits-all parenting plan, and that’s a good thing. Thanks to different mindsets, personalities and parenting styles, you’re contributing to creating a well-rounded and diverse society, and those are the kinds that prosper. If everyone raised their children the exact same way, how would humankind move forward with new innovations, challenges and ideas?
Don’t compare yourself to other parents, and just be you be you.
There are times when your kid may say they hate you, but they don’t; they may threaten to leave you, but they won’t. They know you’ll always be there for them and you’ll always love them, and that’s why they’re emboldened to say these things. (Heck, you should even consider it a compliment!)
If you’re having one of those days where you’re drowning in toddler tantrums or teenage mood swings, hang tough. Repeat the affirmations below, and remember that every mom and dad could use some encouragement from time to time!
1. No matter how chaotic life is, I’ll always be their anchor.
It’s a crazy world out there, and even when life feels chaotic, you’ll always be the anchor in their lives. They may drift away or venture into uncharted waters, but don’t worry, they’ll always come back. As a matter of fact, their courageousness is likely the result of how you helped cultivate their self-confidence. After all, you want them to make decisions for themselves, right?
Trust that you’ve instilled a moral compass within them, and even when the waters get rough, they won’t go too far astray. Throw out a life-preserving line of communication when your kids need something to grasp onto. And whenever they feel lost, keep an open mind and heart; you’ll always be the light that guides them home.
2. It’s OK not to give my kids everything they want.
You love your children more than life itself, so it’s only natural that you want to give them everything they want in life. And when you say “no” and they rebel? Well, that will break your heart.
It’s easier said than done, especially in the midst of a screaming match or a tearful tantrum, but keep in mind that you’re teaching your child a valuable lesson by withholding something they desire. Whether it’s the hottest toy or a bend in the rules, it’s healthy for kids to feel a little “want” instead of pacifying the addiction for instant gratification. As parents know, life certainly doesn’t give us everything we want. It’s imperative to learn how to handle these setbacks, whether we accept them with grace or work our tails off to achieve our goals.
3. My children don’t expect (or need) perfection.
It’s an age-old cliché, but we’ll say it again: no one is perfect. And guess what? Your kids don’t expect perfection. Perfect parents only have a place in perfect worlds, and here on planet Earth, life is far from perfect.
At the end of the day, it's mistakes that make us resilient to the hardships in life, and our flaws are what make us unique. It’s how you handle those missteps that really count, and your kids will be watching what you do with life’s lemons. Mistakes teach us accountability, adaptability and perseverance, some of the most important lessons a child can learn. And if you feel like you’ve wronged your kids, show them the importance of an apology. They’re quick to forgive, and only want you to love and accept them along with their own faults.
4. Spending time together is never time wasted.
The house is dirty. The bills are piling up. But you’ve spent your afternoon at the park with your kids. This is hardly a day wasted.
Yes, children need to live in a clean, safe environment, and somebody has to work in order to support them. But it’s easy to get caught up in life’s to-do tasks and forget to spend time together.
Parents are constantly wracked with guilt over working too much, working too little, spending too much time on this and not enough time on that. STOP! Provide for your family’s needs, then don’t feel guilty for taking a moment to enjoy life with them! Sure, if you worked overtime you could buy your loved ones the newest electronics or designer clothes. But would those things really make them happier than being with each other’s company? One day when you look back, your memories will consist of the love, laughs and experiences you shared together — not how clean the house was.
5. I am the best person to raise my kids.
Repeat after me: “I am the best person to raise my kids. I am the BEST person to raise my kids. There is NO ONE who could do a better job than me.”
There are days when parenting feels like you’re floundering in quicksand and, unfortunately, children don’t come with a manual. But even when you’re confused, tired and cranky, you are still the best, most qualified one for the job. And your kids wouldn’t have it any other way.
Whether you work, stay at home, breastfeed, formula-feed, are a single parent, co-parent, eat organic or not, just remember: You are doing it right. Your kids wouldn’t be the amazing individuals they are if it wasn’t for you, and at the end of the day, that’s quite an accomplishment.