In response to the Tedx talk I shared on “How to stop kids’ meltdowns”, one mom shared that it’s often HER OWN MELTDOWNS that she struggles with. Raise your hand if this resonates! I’ll be the first to raise mine! In fact, just the other night we had a “situation”, and this mom blew it. Like, hard core, blew it. Spicy words and fiery emotion flew out of my face like hot lava. It was full-on technicolor, people.
Maybe you’ve experienced this before? You hear the words coming out of your mouth, stacking on top of each other; all the while you’re telling yourself, “Stop talking. Just stop the words. SHUT THE YAPPER!” But you don’t. You just carry on as the words are sucked out of you at high velocity because they need to land somewhere. Yep, that’s how it was at my house the other night. For me. And it sucked. Fortunately, it wasn’t in the hearing of my kid, but my husband witnessed the whole “hot mess moment”. I was “off the rails”, as he so patiently described it. And I totally was.
Shortly after I’d calmed down, the guilt-fest ensued, along with the internal self-flogging to the tune of: “I suck!” “I literally can NOT do this!” “I don’t even like this ‘job’!” Can anyone in all the land of parenting relate to this? It was a train wreck. I was a train wreck.
These moments happen way more often than I care to admit. Why? Well, because pretty much every day, I’m busy being human. Walking around in this “earth-suit” means I’m far from perfect. And if there’s anything I would LOVE to be perfect at, it’s parenting. That will clearly NEVER happen this side of heaven, so, alas, all I can strive to be is a GOOD ENOUGH parent.
Here’s the good news about that though: research confirms that “good enough” parenting is, in fact, GOOD ENOUGH to raise healthy, connected, responsible little humans! So, let’s all be collectively encouraged by that, folks. We’re doing the best we can in the moment, just like our kids are. The goal is to string more “good” moments together than “less-than-good” moments. We’re going to make LOTS of mistakes in the process, just like our kids do.
So, how do we proceed in the aftermath of our parenting mistakes and meltdowns?? In the same way we proceed in the aftermath of our kids’ mistakes and meltdowns: we extend love, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness to THEM and TO OURSELVES. We are doing a really hard job. Parenting is THE hardest job. And, just like our kids, we’re learning to do better. When there’s “rupture”, we “repair”. Every time. This is the hallmark of a “good enough” parent. Mistakes will happen, guaranteed. Ours, theirs. So, today, have grace for thyself and grace for thy offspring. We’re all just busy being human.
Every day, every moment, holds fresh mercy for the taking. So, take it. And take a little extra to stick in your pocket for later.
You are indeed a “GOOD ENOUGH” parent! You are exactly what/who your child needs.