Do I have you attention?

Back to school brings out many thoughts for school age children.   It also brings out many thoughts for Parents of school age children.  Bad thoughts.  Negative thoughts.

Do you know how many times in the past two weeks I told a parent to cut themselves some slack?  Told them parenting sucks?  Let’s just say- enough times to know I needed to blog about this.

Who told you that parenting would be easy?  I want names.  Because these people should not be allowed to speak if they are going around spreading the lie that parenting is easy.  The last easy moment you had was before you held a child in your arms, or held their hand- before you gave birth or signed adoption papers.  After that- all bets are off.

I know there are billions of parenting books, articles, websites.  I’m pretty sure I have read them all.  But guess what?  There is no parenting book for YOUR SPECIFIC CHILD.  Because every child is unique- they have their own personality traits- a whole bunch of them.  One book may have 1 thing that works for your kid- 1.  Thousands of tips, only one which applies to your child.  A book might not have any tip that helps your child.  None.  You got that?  A book that works for everyone else might NOT work for you.  This does not make you a bad parent.  This does not make your kid a bad kid.  You just need to figure out a different solution.  There is nothing wrong with doing something a different way than everyone else if it works for you and your child.  Got that?  If it works for you and your child it is fine.

You will make mistakes as a parent.

Yes- you will.  No kidding.  No matter what you do, you will make a wrong decision.  And I know this is not intentional.  No one brings a child home and whispers over their bed “I’m going to do everything possible to screw up your life.”  No one.

Own your mistakes.  If you realize you did make a choice that is not working, figure out how to fix it.  I always like the “reverse engineering” approach- look at the desired outcome and figure out what steps you need to get there.  What if you don’t know what to do?  Talk it out with people you trust (not the people who told you parenting was easy- seriously- don’t drink that kool aid).  Seek professional help if you think the situation warrants it.  But don’t sweep it under the rug- bad things have a tendency to snowball.

Communication is probably the most important parenting tip I can share- this one pretty much applies to everyone.  LISTEN to your child.  Comprehend what they are and are not saying.  Talk WITH them, not AT them.  If you feel uncomfortable (yes- lots of people are uncomfortable having deep conversations with their children) talk to them in a setting when you are not facing one another.  Fishing, walking, driving- sometimes when your eyes are focused on something external you might be able to have a more frank discussion. If possible, talk to your child before they go to bed- when people are tired they tend to let their guard down.  Also, your kid might just keep talking because they  don’t want to go to sleep….

Judgement should be found in the court system, maybe at a gymnastics meet, but never at a PTA meeting.  Don’t spend time worrying what other parents think about you.  I’m going to repeat that:  Don’t spend time worrying about what other parents think of you. If you are not going to listen to me on this, I would like a 200 word essay on why you think it’s OK for other parents to judge you- on why you think it’s OK for anyone to judge you.  Because I can’t think of even one reason why it’s good to be judged, so I’m trying to expand my knowledge base.

Trust your instincts.  Some of parenting is instinctual- you just “know” when something is good or bad.  I know when my daughter is getting sick because she begins drinking more water.  I know this does not really qualify as instinct, but it is noticing when routine is off.  You know what is “normal” for your kid, and what is not.

So parents- please cut yourself some slack.  Parenting is hard.  Don’t constantly question yourself and the way you parent.  If you are constantly stressed, don’t you think your kids are going to feel your stress?  And then what do you think will happen?  Remember- if you don’t have a good answer, I will be forced to blog about it…..

104 thoughts on “Parenting Sucks

  1. I agree, parents need to NOT question how they parent. Can you imagine if a CEO was always asking for validation on his decisions. 1) calling other CEOs and asking what they are doing OR 2) constantly asking employees if they agree with his decisions. My gosh, that is not a leader! A parent has to “own” how they want to raise their children and not care if another parent doesn’t agree with it. Parenting is hard, but good parents are focused on providing the kind of love that ends in a mutual respect and admiration for each other. That was my goal with my children.. ask me in 25 years if it worked! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Amen! We parents can be so hard on ourselves! I have found that the Lord has had to peel my fingers off of what I was trying too hard to control, so I have had to find a balance between having high expectations of myself and my children, and going with the flow and allowing life to teach. A necessary word for today, thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow, you packed a lot of good stuff into one post. I can say this. For me, it wasn’t easy, I made mistakes, but I owned up to most of them. I think I was a good communicator, but sometimes my kids didn’t listen. I never had a problem with caring about what other parents thought of me. I’ll admit I was stressed. With the start of grandchildren, I may have to hone up on some skills. Thank you. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Brilliant post. Three children, youngest now 17 and I’m still learning. One of the most important lessons i learned, we are human, we make mistakes. Admit those mistakes and if you are wrong, apologise to your children.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Parenting is hard! Now only while our kids are young, but even after they are all grown up. Because then every time we see them making what we think is a bad decision, we think, “now what did I do wrong that they don’t know better?” And we still worry, only we have no control over their actions as we did when they were younger. (Just try grounding a 30-year old. See what happens.) Parents really do need to cut themselves slack…a lot of slack!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Parenting Corner and commented:
    I could not have said this better myself!

    COMMUNICATION is definitely the most important parenting tip! Finding the time to talk to your children about everything and anything is extremely important. Open communication will definitely be the key to positive behavior and respect between you and your child. Communication helps them learn from you; it helps them to truly think about things you discuss; it helps them to understand your values/beliefs and what you believe is important; it helps them become more confident in themselves and their choices because you are valuing them by communicating with them; it can teach them and help them to understand right from wrong, etc.

    And yes, always trust your instincts!

    Awesome blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the reverse engineering idea, but I feel like a 200 word essay will not allow for adequate expression of why it’s not ok to allow other parents to make you feel bad about you. Let your kids have that power instead. (I’m so totally kidding!) (Even though it’s true sometimes!)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sometimes it is hard being a parent but it has been my favourite job of all! Unfortunately, when they are young, you don’t ever obtain a break from it. When they are grown up, you still think and worry about them all of the time. I was quite strict with mine and did speak at them sometimes. However, we see them and socialise with our offspring all the time (had lunch with them yesterday), so must have done something right. Great post, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. True, I agree with every word in this blog, I remember, after the birth of my son, how stressed out I used to be in the initial days……the endless sleepless nights and the constant fatigue took a toll on my emotional as well as physical well being until I realised that a perfect mother doesn’t exist, as humans we are supposed to be flawed, and as parents, no matter how careful we are, we still are bound to fail sometimes…..and that’s okay 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When my daughter was 2, friends of ours were expecting. I told them parenting was hard. They laughed in my face. When their son was 3 months old, the guy said to be that I actually understated how hard it is. And yeah….just when you think you have it figured out, they go to a different stage and the learning starts all over again. It’s worth it, but it’s SOOO hard!! Hang in there!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh…I just wrote a post blasting my mother….so I totally get that part about the whispering…good luck. It’s hard and impossible and frustrating and amazing and wonderful all at the same time. By words to you….communicate and be present. Those are the two things you need to know! Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this. I was so shocked when my 2nd child was born with a completely different personality from my first child. It’s as if they are each their own unique person. Thank you for the reminder that parenting is hard, I forget that all the time and think maybe I’m just doing it wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love reading articles like this because I am only a teenager and this truly inspires me, and frightens me, to not have a child until I graduate from college. Once I do become a parent though, I want to do as much as I can for my child, I want to be their best friend. I understand that everything wont go as planned and I don’t need everything to be perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Parenting is hard and, tbh, i do cut myself some slack. i dont try to be perfect, im just me. i spend additional money on a gym with a creche. if the kids are doing my head in, i let them watch tv until my brain stops hurting. i see friends regularly. nevertheless its still hard. those parents who put themselves under pressure to be otherwise… well, that must be super tough.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is perfection. I am constantly thinking about what other parents think of me. Then that causes me to second guess my parenting methods, which leads to my teenage daughter thinking she can use that as leverage. Usually at that point I snap back to reality and stand my ground. Holy moly, teenagers are difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Can’t agree more … absolutely true that every kid is unique and so he is the way to upbring him.

    Parenting today has changed a lot .. infact I won’t shy away from adding it should be a compulsory subject in the last semester for final educational degree… society is dependent on the parenting being done today ..

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love this article! Parenting does suck sometimes. I am so blessed to have two little girls, but having kids is a handful for sure. Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’ve known that parenting sucks since I was nine years old. I resolved that I would never allow a child to hijack my life and derail my dreams. Child rearing, by necessity, involves sacrificing the parent’s goals and ambitions. As for me, I’ve been able to enjoy a fabulous, carefree, financially stable life because of making the right choices regarding children.

    Liked by 1 person

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