Parenting opinions are everywhere. You cannot log onto the Internet, turn on the television, the radio, or even grocery shop without hearing someone’s advice on how people should parent their children. This is an asset, but we can also feel that we fall short at being moms and dads when faced with all these opinions.
It is common to see something you are personally struggling with or that you may do as a parent labeled “wrong” by another person. You may feel worse after seeing that.
There is also parenting guilt brought on by our children. My children are quick to point out when they do not like something I am doing or if they think I am wrong. I have felt a huge amount of parenting guilt lately. We are moving and I have been working a lot. I keep hearing an inner voice telling me that I am failing as a mother. Even though I normally do not work this much and would not typically have these stresses as a parent, I still feel so guilty as a mom about what I have to do.
That is the part that is key; I have to do these things. They are what’s right for my family. I am doing them because I want what is best for my children. Yet, the guilt still comes and I still feel like I am failing.
Between your children and others’ opinions you can really start to loose some of your self worth as a parent.
If your child isn’t potty trained fast enough, they aren’t doing well in school, or even if your house isn’t the cleanest, people can forego being understanding and you may end up feeling bad about who you are.
It occurred to me the other day as I was having one of these guilt stricken moments that perfection does not exist. While God does call us to try our best, He never once said we have to get everything right.
Sometimes parents have a competitive nature. They may not intend to be hurtful, but sometimes feelings do get hurt.
If you are feeling insecure as a mom or dad, remind yourself that even if person looks like they are the best at everything, this is not the case. God gives each of us gifts in certain areas that we will shine in. Focus on what areas God intends for you to use to minister to others and you will find the worth that you are looking for.
It does us no good to compare ourselves or allow negative thoughts to cloud our minds as parents. Encourage other moms and dads, showing God’s love in all you do. This will not only be a light in their life, but in yours as well.
When it comes to the guilt from your children, it is hard to ignore what they are saying. It can be very hurtful to have your child tell you they are unhappy or they feel you are doing something wrong as a parent.
It is important to remember though that while their feelings matter, they will not always understand why you make the choices you make. They may never understand them or they may come to understand when they themselves are parents and they are trying to make choices for their own children.
I have talked to my oldest daughter about how she talks to me. I have told her that when she tells me that I am doing things wrong or tries to guilt me into changing my mind about something it is hurtful. I told her that every choice I make for her is done out of love, whether she likes it or not it is what I think is best and she needs to be mindful and respectful of that.
There are times when parents are very wrong; however, most parents strive to change the things about themselves that they may view as bad without having to reminded by others. We usually are our biggest critics.
The best way to look at it is if you are doing things for the Glory of God, for your family and with good intentions. You may not always be right but God knows your heart is in the right place.
Strive to be your best as a parent, but do not allow yourself to believe that you should get everything perfect. God wants us to learn as we go; He expects us to make mistakes that we will learn from.