As the mom of a little human and another on the way, I live in pretty frequent fear of what I feel most moms worry about.
I’m afraid I’m messing my kids up. Like forever.
I’m pretty confident my kids won’t end up to be serial killers or anything, but there are times when I make parenting decisions I regret later and wonder how they’ll affect them in the long run.
My sister is a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology and gets my texts pretty much daily.
“Hey, um, so if I just gave in to something she’s been whining about for an hour, will she whine about everything, like forever?”
“I just yelled at her, like at the top of my lungs. Is she going to hate me?”
“Is this developmentally appropriate? I don’t want her to be behind other kids but if I have to read this book to her one more time I’m going to lose it.”
I find that my sister is often my compass of what will and won’t destroy a child’s future in the realm of parenting (although she doesn’t have any kids of her own), and depend on her Master’s Degree to dictate if I should take any credit if my kid becomes a useful member of society.
I put so much pressure on myself to make the right parenting call EVERY time that sometimes I miss the bigger picture: it’s ok to be wrong sometimes. It’s ok to make the wrong decision, say the wrong thing, or encourage the wrong behaviors. We are all learning as we go here and no one, even psychology books, can predict how every little moment of your child’s life will shape them in the future.
So I have to give myself grace and remind myself often that as long as my kids grow up in a home where they are loved fiercely and are reminded of it constantly, that they will bring a joy to the world that unfortunately some go without. That if they are taught and encouraged to reach their full potential, they will succeed. Equally as important, they should know that failing is normal and view it as a learning experience versus a loss. If I teach them that love, faith, family, loyalty, and compassion are far more valuable than possessions or money, then making small parenting decisions I may be less than proud of take the back burner.
So I have put less pressure on myself and a reminder that it’s ok to get it wrong sometimes.