Parenting is hard. It’s emotional. It’s exhausting. It’s overwhelming and it’s so incredibly beautiful. If you’re like me, you sometimes walk around feeling like a failure. Thinking of all of the times you could have done better. The times where they deserved better. The times you should have done more. The times you should have been more.
But here is the thing, your children don’t see what you see. They are resilient. They are forgiving. They are kind, and they are flexible. They give more grace than we probably deserve. It’s natural for them and it’s just what we need.
I’ve been walking around the past few days feeling like a failure. Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Our 9 month-old has been dealing with Influenza A and although my husband and I make a great team, I still feel like the the older two kiddos are getting the short end of the stick. There just isn’t enough time in the day. There isn’t enough coffee, caffeine, or hugs to make me feel like a good parent this week.
But then, one simple moment changed my mindset. Pay close attention to your kids. If you do, I promise you’ll learn something. I’m constantly getting simple reminders from my kiddos that put things into perspective.
In our house, we aren’t afraid to tell our kids “sorry”. It’s ok to tell them when you’ve made a mistake. It’s ok to tell them that you could have done better and that you’re not proud of the way you handled something. Kids need to know that we make mistakes too. I make them often and try to call them out when I do.
During one of these discussions, my daughter said: “Mom, I know you’re sad that you couldn’t go to lunch with me, but you’re the best mom a girl could ask for. You’re just like Memere’, only a younger version.” HOLY MOLY. Just like that I was speechless, tearful, and stopped in my tracks. Sure she was disappointed that our lunch date had to be rescheduled, but she wasn’t stuck on it like I was. She had already moved passed it and was back to thinking I was the “best mom a girl could ask for”, on a day where I didn’t feel adequate to even be a parent.
Our kids are little walking grace givers. They walk around full of hope and happiness. You see your worn-down self. They see beauty. They see your smile. They see love. You see chaos and failed moments, they see you, the mom they love and adore. The mom that shows up everyday, even if it’s with unwashed hair and a frazzled spirit.
The only person putting pressure on myself to be a better parent is me! Not once have my kids walked around the house asking me to be a better mother. Not once have they walked around asking me to do more, or be more. You see, they see “the best mom a kid could ask for.” So, today, take a look at yourself….and try to see it too.
A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.