If you are a bit like me than you might experience flash forwards like this:
My daughter comes home from her therapy session in tears. She locks herself up in her room and I knock against her door, saying softly:” what’s up sweetie?” I hear her sobbing through the door and my heart is crushed. Eventually she opens the door and then she starts telling me how what I did in her childhood messed her up real good.
Every time you feel like you are not giving your kid enough attention or you are not strict enough, not spontaneous enough, not happy enough, not smiling enough, not strong enough, the fear of not being a good parent is knocking at the door of your heart.
In the evening when you come home from work and when your family is finally together you try to do everything perfect. Food (healthy if possible and if you have a fussy eater like mine, you might wonder when the malnutrition will show ), doing homework with the kids, music practice, all kids having a shower or bath, having them in their pajamas by a certain time so that they go to bed on time.
Once they are asleep, you might start berating yourself that you didn’t take time to tickle your little one enough to make him/her laugh, to admire to a really cool Lego statue/ painting/ clay figure that she/he has made, play a puzzle, asked her/him about school or daycare and his/her friends, etc.
There is this constant dialogue running in your head of doubting whether you are a good enough parent and listing all the things that are not going well or could go wrong. The internal argument is going back and forth. Energy consuming, tiring and at times even overwhelming.
In reality you are the best parent that your children will ever have. You give your best and make adjustments if you find out things don’t work. You have all the resourcefulness to be a precious person and parent.
All you got to do is trust your intuition and follow it despite what your internal negative dialogue, a teacher, a friend, a child specialist, etc. will say. You know your child best and are totally apt to make decisions for your child. You can find this beautiful balance between adhering to necessary rules and spontaneous play.
And when indeed the day comes when your child confronts you with your mistakes, you can acknowledge that you made mistakes. That doesn’t mean that you are a mistake. Making mistakes is a basic human condition. We are not perfect beings, evolution has not shaped us like this. We are human beings that came to live in this world with the best of our abilities, embracing perfect imperfection.
You will know that you have done the best you could do and that your children have the best parent they could ever have. It’s all about accepting ourselves for who we are and striving for the best we can be, because we love our children.