My mother once told me that you know who your real friends are because they are the ones who stick around when things get hard.
A lover I once had told me that you know a relationship is solid not when things are going great, but when the sh** hits the fan and that person is still standing beside you. Similarly in families, you know your bonds are strong when your life falls apart and they are the first ones at your door, asking for ways to make things hurt less even if the reason you are hurting is mostly your fault.
This theme comes up for me daily in parenting. Sometimes there are days where everything runs smoothly like a well-oiled machine and I feel I’ve got this parenting thing mastered. It’s easy to parent your children when they are being absolutely adorable, playing harmoniously together, going to bed on time and listening to everything you ask them to do.
Yes… this is not the norm but when it happens, it’s glorious and never to be taken for granted!
Then there are the days when things are so broken, I wonder how I was actually awarded the honor of being a parent…
When both my kids are cranky from a long day, when one of them is screaming bloody murder for no reason, while the other is not listening to a word I say. When they are pulling toys from each other, refusing to share and just plain old melting down. It’s the days when nothing seems to flow no matter how hard you are trying, no matter how much you are following the normal “routine” that always seems to work.
The tools in your parenting tool box are failing and you start thinking, “Is it me? Am I a horrible parent or is everyone just off today?”
I can easily go to the place that I’m a horrible parent. That everyone else seems to have this parenting thing mastered and I’m struggling.
But then I talk to other parents who are also struggling and everyone has different ways of dealing with it. What we all talk about is what we remember most about our own parents and how they handled us during difficult times. Mine were always strict but loving. Even though they yelled, gave us a few good wacks with a wooden spoon or grounded us, my parents always said, “No matter what we always love you.”