One bad moment does not make you a bad parent.
Maybe it’s hormones, maybe it’s the full moon, maybe it’s just the emotional exhaustion that comes with Mammying round the clock, but today, my parenting on a scale of 1 to excellent, was somewhere around minus shite.
After an incredibly challenging morning (read: 7 straight hours of tears, screaming and varying degrees of emotional instability), I decided that even though I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, *REALLY* wasn’t in the mood, I’d get some exercise in. Workouts are demanding at the best of times, but when you do one at home, falling over toys and dodging Lego pieces, trying to block out the noise of the background madness that two little men tend to create, it’s actually just a shit, stressful experience.
Not 5 minutes in, Joss started crying and shouting at me for a bottle and something in me snapped. See, the thing about parenting is that you never, ever, ever get to do anything without being interrupted. Ever. Even the shit you don’t want to do. You’re in the middle of folding laundry and someone spills milk; you stop to clean it up and hear crying from another room, drop everything, run in and while in there negotiating peace talks, the pan that’s on the stove gets the arse burned out of it and dinner’s gone. Standard day.
So I lost it.
Lost. My. Actual. Shit. And then I burst into tears – proper snot bubble tears, and made sounds so high pitched, animals were starting to gather at my door. In the midst of my sobbing, I told them that I was sorry that I wasn’t able to be a very good Mammy today and that I wished I could be better for them. Eli came over with this stoic, all knowing presence saying “hey, hey, it’s ok – you’re still the greatest Mammy in all the world”. Joss followed suit, covering me in kisses and they went on to sing a song that Eli made up on the spot called “I’ll never stop loving Mammy, not even for a minute”.
And that’s where I saw my real parenting shine; in that moment, I saw so clearly the kind of humans I’m raising – two little guys who saw someone lost and sad, and had the ability to show compassion, love and kindness and understanding. Parenting is every minute of every day, a constant journey of learning – for the little ones, as well as for those of us who’ve been lucky enough to guide them. So one bad moment, one bad day, even one whole big ass bad patch never ever makes a bad parent. If you care enough to worry that you’re not doing a great job parenting, I promise you, you are.
So now, I’m taking myself out to read a book and have a glass of wine, and I’ll come back later rested and having had some vital head space. Tomorrow I will start fresh and be better equipped to get up and give those two beautiful little humans the best of what I have to offer. Because that’s what they deserve 💙