How Pretending I Was a Better Parent Helped Me Be a Better Parent
I'm going to put myself out there and admit something that I typically do not admit in print. Vulnerability isn't comfortable for me (understatement), but I am guessing that most of you have felt the way I do at some point in your parenting career. I am tired. I am often overwhelmed. I lose my cool more times than I care to admit with my children. At four and six, my boys have an energy that I cannot keep up with from time to time. The amount of fighting in the house can go from zero to full blown WWIII in 3.5 seconds and I am standing there in shock or go into full fight or flight mode just as fast. The smallest things will set the Oldest One off into a full fledged tantrum and the Youngest One into a complete whine-fest. I am not trying to gain sympathy or ask for advice...or even get judged for saying "whine-fest". I'm just keeping it real. No smiling photos some days...parenting isn't always picture perfect.
I'm one to think I have access to all of the answers. I have my degree in Child Development. I've worked with children for 16 years. I've read countless books on peaceful parenting and have done a ton of soul work on what makes me tick and how to chill the F out to be in the moment...but, still...sometimes the books do not help. Sometimes... When I haven't had enough self care. When I have four things going on at once. When I am PMSing. When the boys are picking at each other and not listening and my husband is out of town... the wonderful advice I have received from a collection of amazing parenting experts from all over the world flies out of the window and I become the type of parent I do not want to be. And in comes the shame. In comes the disappointment in myself. In comes the guilt. And, hopefully...in comes the resolve to read more, reflect more, and try harder.
Amber is a family and children's yoga teacher, home-based child care provider, writer, and Mama to two homeschooling boys ages four and six. She believes children are her greatest teachers and blogs about her mothering journey, mindfulness, and creative endeavors at www.heartwanderings.blogspot.com.