One thing is guaranteed in parenting. At some point in your parenting journey you will have a parenting fail. There will be small fails like forgetting to sign the permission slip for your kid’s school field trip or burning dinner because you forgot you were cooking. And there will be big parenting fails like not showing up for your kid when they need you or even things happening that harm your relationships.
There is nothing like a parenting fail to make you feel like the worst mom ever… It happens to the best of us. It can be difficult to recover from a parenting fail especially when we tend to have such high expectations of ourselves as mothers. So here are few ways you can recover from a parenting fail.
- Acknowledge your fail. Yep…you did that. You forgot something, you messed up, you lost your cool. Just take a moment to acknowledge what happened. So often, as we rush through the chaos of parenting, we don’t take the time to acknowledge what is happening. We just move on to the next thing, stuff down the feeling and don’t deal with whatever it is at all. But part of being an adult is owning or stuff no matter how much it may suck.
- Take a breath. Take a minute to take a deep breath. Relax instead of allowing the moment to ruin the day for you. A physical breath can help to release the stress and tension that comes along with realizing you screwed something up. Depending on how badly you screwed things up, it could be a single breath or it may take 20 minutes of breathing and meditation to recover from a parenting fail.
- Admit what you were wrong. Admit your fail to your kid because kids need to know that we are not perfect and it is ok to screw up. They can learn a lot from seeing how you deal with a screw up. What better way to teach than by example. You can also confess to your spouse or partner. Or confide in a friend who can help you talk it through with a more adult perspective. This is a learning moment and not the end of the world.
- Apologize. Kids are very forgiving. Whether you hurt their feelings, lost your cool, completely forgot something that was important to them or didn’t manage to show up for them when they needed you…a meaningful apology can go a very long way.
- Don’t beat yourself up. So you messed up. You are human and making mistakes or wrong decisions is part of being human. Besides, this parenting thing is hard “AF.” There is no instruction manual taking us step-by-step and no possible way for you to always get it right. So give yourself some slack and don’t let the mom guilt convince you otherwise.
- Move on. Wallowing in your fail is not going to do any good for you or your kiddo(s). It happened, you did what you could do to fix it, your learned from your mistake, and now it is time to move on. Tomorrow is a new day and you get to press the reset button if you need to.
- Remember the bigger picture. In the bigger picture of parenting, most of the fails we fret over are not as important as we think they are in the moment. If your kids are generally happy, healthy, and resilient, your are doing are pretty darn good job at this parenting thing.
We have all had a parenting fail on some level. It’s part of being a parent. But how we manage to recover from those parenting fails make all the difference in the world. What parenting fail have you experienced?
Elisha Beach is a stay-at-home mom to four kids and four step-kids…Yes, you read that right—eight kids. She is a wife, home cook, taxi driver, herder of children, terrible housekeeper and founder of The Mom Forum.
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