Parenting is hard.
As you have probably heard before parenting does not come with a manual guide, nor will it ever come with a guide because every single parent does parenting differently. There would be no way to accommodate to the variety of parenting styles if a guide even did exist.
I have 2 almost three year old’s and expecting another baby in a few months and I still do not have it figured out. Truth be told, I don’t believe I ever will. However, that does not bother me because I can appreciate that parenting is a journey full of never ending lessons. Some harder then others. I hear teenage years are the hardest.
Before I became a parent I will admit I imagined it being nothing but easy and well, fun. Full of cute and happy moments. I never once thought about the struggles that come along with welcoming a child into your life.
I just thought about how I would be the ‘best mommy ever’. I am definitely not the best mommy ever FYI
I could not wait to be a mother. It was definitely a dream of mine and a calling I felt an eagerness to fulfill at a very young age. I had my first baby at 26, and I finally felt like this prayer of mine was answered.
When I became a parent, it was better then I ever imagined it to be. It was also way harder then I ever thought. I’m talking way harder. I think the way harder really set in when my husband and I received a second baby by surprise. We were completely caught off guard.
(we received our second baby when our first was 10 months old, to read about that story you can search ‘A Blessing In Disguise’)
When you become a parent, you see things differently. You don’t just see things differently but you have a completely different awareness and understanding.
You look at your parents differently…….in good and bad lighting. Your friends who have had kids for a couple of years now? You feel sorry, because you just didn’t know what they were going through. You can even connect now with strangers almost everywhere you go that are holding a little hand.
You empathize with parents because you know it’s the most amazing and yet hardest privilege.
As a parent you want to do your best for your child. But it’s hard. There are many days where you feel like a complete failure. You also blame yourself for a lot of things that are really out of your control.
We never want to hurt them.
But truth be told, we are going to leave emotional scars on our children.
Now, that’s a real tough pill to swallow especially because we are continuously trying to be the best that we can be.
We do our best to give what we didn’t receive. To be, what are parents were not. To do, what are parent’s didn’t do. As well as, try not to do, what are parents did.
We do our best. But what we think is best, is not always the best and can impact our child in ways we can’t even imagine. Which is a little frightening when you really sit and think about it.
It’s a lot of pressure! We are shaping a life or lives! And one can only hope and pray that the wounds we cause aren’t too severe.
I don’t know what type of scar I am going to leave but I know I will leave one. It may be something I say, something I do, something I choose, something I don’t do…..who knows. But there will be a time, when my child will feel let down by me.
My child is never going to forget it. And neither will yours.
And you may never know what emotional scar you left unless your child has the courage to tell you.
Just about everyone suffers from some type of ‘childhood trauma’. From mild trauma to severe.
You had a parent that always put you down, you had a parent that you felt betrayed you in some way, you had a parent that hit you, you had a parent that suffered from substance abuse, you had a parent that was never honest, you had a parent that was never there, you had a parent that favored your other siblings, you had a parent that didn’t choose you, you had a parent that didn’t believe you, your parent had a temper, your parent embarrassed you, etc……
We all have something that is THERE.
Something that left us confused, upset, concerned, worried, scared, alone, numb…something.
I can tell you, causing you pain was never their intention. Maybe there were other things going on in their life, maybe they were afraid, maybe they thought they were doing a good thing for you…..you know, you just don’t know what was going on in their head at the time. OR…..you don’t really know the results of their ‘childhood trauma’ and how it impacted and shaped their behaviors. Who knows….
(note: If your child is grown, you’re right, you can’t change the past. But you can tell them sorry. That will provide more relief then you know.)
When I look at my daughters I can only pray the scars I leave aren’t too severe. And I hope they will be comfortable enough to tell me when I have hurt their feelings or possibly done something they wish I hadn’t.
I think to myself…..what am I going to do, one day, where I am going to let you down. Even Nemo in the Kids movie ‘Finding Nemo’ said I hate you to his dad, do you remember?
My heart breaks knowing that I won’t be a perfect mom where they will grow up and say their childhood was perfect. It’s unrealistic. That’s not going to happen. I will make mistakes. I know I will, because I already do make mistakes, feel guilt, and have regrets.
It’s something inevitable, it’s going to happen.
Can you think of anything that your parent said to you or did that you have never forgot? Whether it’s big or small you remember exactly how it made you feel.
I have 3 things I will say to my children often that I hope will always bind us together and strengthen our relationships as years come and go.
I hope by saying these things often my children will have peace of mind and not be severely impacted and haunted for years to come by my actions or words that I have no idea will influence my child in the future.
They are below.
- I LOVE YOU
I want to make sure I am saying this as much as possible to each child of mine. I hope my child never questions how much love I have for them. It’s not enough to just say it, but telling them why I love them. Expressing to them the joy they bring into my life. Sharing lessons they have taught me. WE know we love our children, but sometimes they don’t hear it enough or feel it enough. They need to hear it and feel it.
- I AM PROUD OF YOU
I don’t want to just say those words after they accomplish something like a good grade on a test or a tournament won. I want to say these words just because. I don’t want my children to think they always have to impress me or accomplish something grand to hear these words. I will be proud of them everyday and I want them to know how proud I am to be their Mother.
- I AM SORRY
This is a huge one. Being a parent, it’s hard to admit our faults. Especially, to our children. We don’t want to admit that we made a mistake or take ownership for something that we have done, because honestly…..sometimes we think we are in the right. WE think we are, but from a child’s perspective it’s completely different.
A child isn’t expecting an apology from their parent, but sometimes they need to hear it to move forward and let that burden go. I plan on saying sorry often. Sorry if I hurt their feelings, sorry if I couldn’t make their soccer game, sorry for saying NO, sorry for not being cool enough, just sorry. I will always be sorry any time I have upset them but I hope one day they will realize why I did the things I did, why I didn’t do the things they wanted and why I am who I am. I know there will be times that they need to hear this from me, and my hope is they can always forgive me
I know I will never be the best, but I will never give up trying to be the best that I can be.
Parenting is hard…..but it’s also the best gift in the world. A true gift from God and a blessing.
Thank you for reading! 🙂