There are days when I feel, as a parent, I can’t get a single thing right.
I can’t get my kids to school on a regular basis (and I so desperately wanted to help them have a better school experience than I did.)
I can’t stop other kids from being mean to my kids.
I can’t separate my own childhood experiences from theirs when they talk about being excluded, teased, or feeling unhappy and overwhelmed at school.
I can’t try to get one kid to feel more empathy for me and tell them how sad I am without making another super empathetic kid who happened to overhear spend the day worrying about how upset I am.
I can’t let one kid stay home from school because they’re having a really hard time and I don’t want to push them to breaking, without another kid realizing that mimicking very similar behaviour can get them the same results. And I don’t know how to have different consequences for different kids (that are blatantly unfair differences to me… ) even though in some cases I think it’s probably necessary.
I can’t feel good about not having juice in the house for the kids because the doctor thinks I’m letting them have too much milk.
I can't manage to keep screen time limited as all the experts recommend.
I can’t find the energy to do more fun things with the kids on a regular basis because I’m so emotionally tapped out by the hard stuff.
I can’t stick to my intentions to be the “because I said so” parent because there are so many other factors to consider with regards to their mental health (and mine.)
The irony is that I know there are other people out there who see the photos I post on Facebook of our cottage vacations and other trips we take and think “wow – how does she do it all?!” Meanwhile I know they’re taking their kids to weekly activities and helping them with their homework on a daily basis and I can’t even fathom managing that.
My kids are getting older so I can’t go into the nitty of what’s going on or how I’m dealing with it , but I felt compelled to share.
If you ever feel this way, you aren’t alone.
If you feel like you can’t do it alone, that’s totally normal. I can’t do it alone – I’m pulling in every resource I can figure out how. Assessments and doctors and parenting coaches, and the school resource teacher and social worker and my friends and my extended family. Without a support network I would be completely broken by now and knowing that it’s OK to need and ask for (and sometimes pay for) help has been key.
Asking for help is strong. Admitting things aren’t easy is strong. Finding people to lean on makes us all stronger.
Today is a hard day, but as one of my great supporters always reminds me, we can do hard things (originally said by Brene Brown I’m told). I’m keeping on keeping on, and grateful for the opportunity to keep doing so. If things are hard for you today, (or tomorrow, or next week) - reach out to someone. People truly want to help.