Do you feel like a complete failure as a Mom sometimes? I know I do. Usually it’s when my kids misbehave, or when they don’t get something that I’ve been teaching them. Other times it’s when one of my kids looks at me with confusion in their eyes as I’m scolding them.
As my brain accepts more and more that I can’t control how my children behave, I’m realizing that I’m not a failure when they misbehave. That’s just my opportunity to teach them again. Success isn’t in them learning. Success for me is teaching them with patience.
So what about the times I don’t teach with patience? Am I a failure? Sometimes we think if we beat ourselves up when we don’t live up to our own expectations, then we’ll try harder. But actually the opposite happens. I like to think about how I would talk to a friend. If she came to me and said, “I feel like such a failure because I yelled at my son when he threw the game. I’ve been trying so hard to be calm when he misbehaves. I feel like I totally blew it.” I wouldn’t say to her, “You’re such a failure. When are you going to get it? He’s going to remember that moment the rest of his life. You’re totally ruining him.” But that’s often how we talk to ourselves. Instead I’d say something like, “Oh man, we all do that sometimes. It’s tough being a parent. We just want to do right by our kids. They will definitely learn some good things from us and some bad things. All we can do is say we’re sorry, and keep trying. We’re definitely learning right along side our kids.”
I know it sounds cliche, but I want to be my own best friend. I’m working on talking to myself like I would to a friend. So, I try not to tell myself I’m a failure. When I fail at something I’m trying to learn, I just keep on trying and remind myself that falling and getting back up is what life is all about.
These are the two things I try to remind myself about success as a mom: 1) success is in teaching, not in how well my kids learn, 2) success is failing and trying again.
How do you measure success as a mom?