I just read this article with a title of “stop gaslighting your kids” or something like that…and while I know it has critical information and I know it’s aiming to help I also know that there are so many articles about what NOT to do as parents.
And sometimes, all of those articles, while being incredibly important, can leave us sitting on the sidelines bewildered or frustrated or feeling like we’ve messed up, again or worried that we’re not doing a good job or now worried about another thing we shouldn’t be doing.
Being a parent in this abundance of digital information is exhausting.
We’re told to do one thing and next year or next week we’re told it’s wrong.
So, I want to remind you of a couple things.
1. We are all going to mess up. Yep. I read the gas lighting article and thought, “yep, I’ve screwed up at times.” BUT BUT BUT that doesn’t mean we’re bad moms. It means we are REAL moms with REAL kids coping in a REAL, not article driven, environment. It’s one thing to intentionally mess up, but another to try, make a mistake, or not realize it was, and keep trying to do right.
2. You will NEVER find peace in parenting if you read every article out there and decide you need to do what that article is saying or not saying. It will just make your head spin because there will be another article out almost instantly. Instead, mothering is so much about finding your OWN groove and your family’s groove. Embrace that.
3. Support your friends. Not one of us are going to parent the same. NOPE. But that doesn’t make their parenting better than yours — it’s HER groove. Remember how you are to find yours? Support her in hers and love her for finding and embracing it. Companionship, not competition.
4. Show up. That’s a theme here at Finding Joy, but I mean it. If you show up, your kids will know. I am dealing with the silence of a 14yo. And it is BRUTAL. But that doesn’t exempt me from showing up. I’m the mom. So I show up, day after day, and try, night after night, and love, month after month. That’s what matters.
5. Breathe. You will make it through this parenting journey and your kids will too. My oldest will be 22. Gasp. But, man I messed up, but in it all I did more showing up. And I’m telling you that matters more. So catch your breath, read those articles, but don’t let them sink into your identity as a mom. You get to decide – is it valid? Can I learn from it? Does it make me learn? If it only provides guilt, then, well, move on.
6. Remember the good. See the good. Think about all we can learn. Navigating life, even with the abundance of information, is easier. We can connect, learn and support.
From me, the mom that messes up, but still loves and tries, to all of you.
thanks for sharing these words with your friends and supporting our community.