We’ve all had them. Days when parenting is really tough. Days when you find yourself sobbing on the kitchen floor because it’s all too hard. And let's face it, we've had more of them in recent months than we used to.
When you are having one of those days it’s easy to feel totally alone because the bad days are not something we talk about often. But the truth is parenting is hard.
Cherish Every Moment
It’s frowned upon to say your kids are doing your head in, because somehow and completely falsely that equates to you not loving your kids or appreciating what you have. But the truth is as amazing as our little humans are, and as much as our hearts could burst with pride and love for them, not every parenting moment is #blessed.
There are tears and tantrums. A million questions and a million refusals to do as you ask. There are nits and chickenpox. There is poo. So much poo. There’s a never ending supply of food and wasted vegetables. There are squabbles and fights. There is mess. So much mess. There are lost toys to be found. Batteries to be replaced. There are coats to be zipped and teeth to be brushed. And there are negotiations. So many negotiations. And sometimes all of this happens on the same day.
Then Comes The Guilt!
When you are in the middle of all of this it can be hard to remember yesterday when you had a spontaneous disco in the kitchen and the kids giggled until they couldn’t breathe. When you shout or need a break and then feel guilty for shouting or needing a break, it can seem like everyone else is a better parent than you. Stop being so hard on yourself.
This Too Shall Pass
Some of my worst parenting days are days that I look back on and laugh about now. Others become a kind of barometer for bad days. Today was bad, but it has nothing on the lost weekend of 2011. If I survived that I can survive anything.
It May Not Be As Bad As You Think
Yesterday my four-year-old decided upon entering the supermarket that he didn’t want to do the shopping. So he lay on the floor with his head in his hands and refused to move. I waited it out. Seven minutes. Five “Is he mopping the floor? One “Do you need any help?” Three “Oh dear”s. Eight disapproving looks, three of which were accompanied by tuts and head shakes. Four sympathetic smiles. But for seven minutes he laid silently on the floor, and I stood next to him silently waiting and wishing it wasn’t happening.
Then after seven minutes he stood up, I took his hand and we did our shopping. When I got home I moaned to my husband about how awful it was and people were staring, and maybe slightly over dramatised with “I can’t take him anywhere.” And my husband pointed out that I handled it. There was no shouting. No tears. There was just a slight seven minute bump in the road and then we carried on.
Sometimes a bad day can be turned around with a bit of perspective.
You Are Not Alone
I was walking the kids to school after a particularly stressful morning last year, when I saw another mum I knew. She asked me if I was alright. I told her it had been one of those mornings. She gave me a hug and told me she had had one of those the other day and had really needed a hug. Her gesture instantly made me feel better.
Sometimes a bad day can be turned around by someone else who gets it.
Bad Days Are Part Of Parenting
Sometimes things aren’t as bad as we think and we can get over it and make a bad day good. Sometimes we can’t and we just need to try again tomorrow. But the point is if you are having a bad day and finding things hard, it’s normal! Because if it happens to us all then it’s not unusual.
Besides, bad days make us appreciate the good ones more. because if every day was full of giggles and kitchen discos, we might just keep on reproducing.
If you find you are struggling and there are more bad days than good, please talk to someone. Help is always available.
This post was first published on Life, Love and Dirty Dishes