I’ll be honest, this parenting thing is HARD. Seriously, I go between small victories like they eat veggies without complaining and massive defeats like losing my cool when the room is destroyed 5 minutes after I clean it. I often feel like something’s wrong, like I’m missing something and I’m completely failing as a parent. I remember people telling me “you’ll be an awesome mom” and I believed them. I actually thought ‘sure, I can do this, I will be that super mom everyone looks to for inspiration’. But then life happened, my first girl learned the word “no” and I now find myself looking into the eyes of an 8 year old as she defies me at the most inconvenient times. I’m really not complaining, I just want people to understand that parenting can sometimes. . . suck.
On the other hand . . .
Now, let me tell you about the flip-side. I’m not saying that parenting is paying off for me yet, I’m in the thick of it and I mostly feel like I’m drowning. But, I’m a mom and I have kids who are safe, well fed, smart, and so passionate about life. I have the responsibility of giving them purpose in their lives, in showing them how to live a life to be proud of, of helping them discover the amazing side of this world. To do this, I’ve figured out I need to work on myself. I can’t give what I don’t have, so here’s what I’m doing to fill up so I have something to give to them.
My solution . . .
- Eat Right – I used to feel tired and sluggish all day. By about noon you could find me nodding off on the couch while they destroyed the house around me. Most of that came from feeding my body junk food and expecting it to still perform. I changed it up starting with 21 days of portion control and cutting out the crap. That helped me take a good look at how food influenced me and my moods. I still splurge on junk sometimes because I love food and the best tasting stuff has a stick of butter in it, but that’s the exception instead of the daily habit.
- Work Out – I started working out at home, and it made a huge difference. I had to get up early to do it before the kids really got into destruction gear, and I had to start getting dedicated to a healthy habit. This discipline gave me a reason to get up early, to be consistent, and to have something that I was excited about. It also made me feel good as I started to see results in my tummy and butt, and the energy level went up to match the effort, so the days started to feel longer in a good way.
- Personal Development – This is still a bit new for me, but I’m loving it. You can’t give what you don’t have, so it’s important to keep growing as a person. I’ve been getting up and listening to podcasts from inspiring people and I’m journaling. This is fun as I’m starting to look at what it takes to be the person I want to be. It’s hard as a stay at home mom to find purpose in constantly cleaning, cooking, and arguing with a 3 year old about keeping clothes on; so pouring into myself is helping to define what I’m good at, and what I still have to offer to the real world out there.
Do you sometimes feel like a failure as a parent? What are you doing about it? I’d love to hear about your struggles and especially your victories!