I have lots of parenting confessions, but do you want to know the most well-kept one?
I still hide from my kids.
It’s true! My favorite place is the shower. I turn on the bathroom fan, the water, and stand in there until my mind calms because I can’t hear a sound from the rest of the house. It’s my little slice of heaven… Usually, I leave the kids with their video of choice playing but I just need to walk away sometimes.
It’s hard, as a therapist, to admit that you are just like everyone else. Somehow, as a therapist and a professional, I am expected to be above certain things and tell other people how to do it. After all, I have all the answers.
Here are some hard truths:
-I yell at my kids. I always apologize, but I still yell and feel terrible after doing it.
-I don’t always follow through on the consequences I give.
-My kids have eaten almonds, crackers, and popcorn for lunch before. I was just too tired and I hadn’t gone grocery shopping yet.
-There are days when they watch TV all day because my state of mind can’t handle it.
These things usually happen on days when I am getting breakfast for everyone and I can already tell it’s going to be that kind of day. (You are nodding your head, I know you are...)
Every day I give the best I can- and sometimes it’s not very good. The only difference between you and me is my educational background and training. (And let me tell you, it can be a double-edged sword!)
When nighttime falls, when we are done reading books, and when the trains are put away for the day, sometimes we talk about the hard day and how we can both try harder tomorrow. As mothers, fathers, and caregivers we have really high expectations of ourselves- and we are particularly tough on ourselves when we don’t meet the standard.
I fail my kids every day in some form or another and I have to forgive myself when I do. Because I am worthy of forgiveness. I am wrong at times and I make mistakes (shh, don’t tell my husband I said that) and while painful to admit, it is nonetheless true.
Forgiveness is an art, it takes practice. We all want to teach forgiveness, but struggle with the “how” part. So, where do we turn for our example of forgiveness?
Quite simply, we lead by example and start with ourselves.