west kootenay postpartum doula

Bad Moments Don’t Make Bad Parents

Being a good parent doesn’t mean that you don’t have bad moments. We all do. We are all human. This is an excerpt from my personal blog that I wrote back when I was pregnant with my youngest and struggling with my toddler.  And just a reminder to those of you who know a parent, remember that photos are just a moment in time. If a parent tells you they’re struggling, but their Instagram and Facebook feeds look otherwise – believe them.

This too shall pass. 
I remind myself of this near constant mantra as the 1.5 year old has yet another tantrum. Not sure the cause of this one, but as usual, he seeks out the nearest wall and floor to smash his head against it. Then, he runs to me to hit me and smash his head against my body. I sigh, and tell him, yet again, that I won’t let him hit me and move my body out of his reach. I’ve been telling him the same thing for months, but it hasn’t seemed to get through to him. Every tantrum he does the same things just like clockwork. This too shall pass, I tell myself again as he reaches up to me and I scoop him up and attempt to cradle him in my arms. But that is a lost cause as he throws his body back and squirms out of my arms. It is like trying to comfort a pissed off octopus. Just like usual. It has been a long few months.
Pregnancy hormones don’t make this whole parenting thing any easier.  

I am trying to teach my children about kindness. I am trying to teach them to respond to people kindly and to love them despite their flaws. Instead, I want to scream and yell and walk out the door, never to return. But I don’t. Not this time anyway.  

Sometimes I do scream and yell. Sometimes the days and nights have been much too long and I just can’t contain it anymore. Sometimes the tantrums from all three kids are simply overwhelming. My emotions get the better of me, my voice rises much too loud, and the words that escape my mouth are not the kind words I want my children to hear. Those are the moments when I find myself feeling like I made the wrong choices in my life. Those are the moments when I wonder why I decided to have even just one child, never mind four. What was I thinking? Those are the moments when I question my goal of parenting my children gently with guidance, love, and kindness. Those are the moments that I question my ability to be a good parent. Surely if I were a “good parent,” I wouldn’t lose my cool as often as I have recently
 A good parent.  

What is a good parent anyway? 

We all have ideas about what it means to be a good parent. Most of the time, those ideas actually border on “perfect.” But there are no perfect parents. None of us are perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. We are all only human. And human beings are emotional beings.

A good parent doesn’t go through their days never losing their cool. A good parent isn’t the picture of calm every moment of every day. They don’t have everything figured out and they don’t have all the answers. 

No, a good parent is not a robot. 

Instead, a good parent is one who recognizes their shortcomings. Sometimes, they may scream and yell and lose their cool. Sometimes they say things that they don’t actually mean. Sometimes, they are embarrassed by their reactions. But they do the best they can and apologize when they make mistakes. In doing this, they are teaching their kids that it is okay to make mistakes and it’s okay to have emotions. Kind people make mistakes. Kind people lose their cool. 

Even good parents make mistakes and lose their cool.  

No, we can’t be a perfect parent. But we can all be good parents. All it takes is love for our children and for ourselves.

So, when you find yourself in a bad moment, remember that that does not make you a bad parent.

It’s just a bad moment.

And bad moments do not make bad parents.

Love Sarah   XOXO