Be Easy On Yourself

I’ve been pretty high strung lately. The smallest of inconveniences have royally hacked me off. My voice has become shrill with every little move my toddler makes. I don’t know why. It’s probably a combination of things. Being stretched too thin, my time of the month, cabin fever, my toddler becoming a real toddler…

Parenting is hard. There is no doubt about that. Some days we just want to give up and then we feel guilty about it. But we need to be easier on ourselves, we can’t be happy and supportive every second of the day. We’re human.

I remember when James was really little and I’d feel guilty about crying in front of him. Postpartum depression was really hard for me and it was only compounded by the fact that I hated the fact James came when he did and how he did. Looking back, it was kind of funny. I’d cry and then I’d cry about the fact I was crying. Yup, parenthood sucks.

But just the fact we can say that means we aren’t terrible parents. Comedian Jim Gaffigan in his book Dad is Fat puts it much more succinctly:

“If you complain about how you spend your Saturdays taking your kids to birthday parties, that means you are taking your kid to birthday parties. If you complain about how hard it is to get your kid to read, it means you are trying to get your kid to read. If you are complaining about your kid not helping around the house, that means you have a fat, lazy kid. You joke about it. That’s how you deal. If parents don’t like being a parent, they don’t talk about being a parent. They are absent. And probably having a great time out having a great time somewhere.”

It isn’t an easy job, but it is one of the most important jobs in the world. These are tomorrow’s leaders, helpers, voters, artists, scientists…and parents! All this pressure needs to be dealt with somehow. So, you’ll joke, you’ll cry, you might even have the occasional irrational angry outburst.* It happens. You’re still a fallible human being. To use another quote from Dad is Fat:

“Failing and laughing at your own shortcomings are the hallmarks of a sane parent.”

Wait a second, she gets to close the door when she goes to the bathroom. I’m jealous. Credit: http://www.glasbergen.com

*but physically lashing out is inexcusable. Yelling is to be expected. Getting angry for no good reason is to be expected. But never physically attack your child.

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One thought on “Be Easy On Yourself

  1. I definitely can identify with all of this! I've been so frustrated with myself lately for my lack of patience. And ultimately, I think I've been recently acknowledging the fact that I am a fallible, sinful person, and that carries over into my parenting. Thank God for mercy and grace, and friends with whom we can share the journey!

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