I know this awesome mother . . well I know several actually. But right now I'm just thinking about one in particular. She has four children as well, but not the same boy to girl ratio as I have. A few weeks ago she posted on Facebook about being a bad parent. I never did ask what happened, because it really doesn't matter. The road of parenthood, and of life for that matter, will always have "bad" choices or behavior moments.
Today, I was feeling like a bad parent. This was after last night of feeling like a bad parent. Both of these situations were involving different children. I apologized to one and not the other. Because honestly, with one situation, I should have put myself in the corner and calmed down. But the other situation, I really couldn't predict or control what happened.
So every once in awhile, when I have a bad parent moment, I reflect on more of my bad parenting moments. Last night, I was not up for this stroll down memory lane because I felt pretty bad. Today, was ok, because seriously, I didn't know that two hours in to school my child would be falling asleep in class after he slept for over 11 hours last night. I didn't know he was in that state. I thought the good night's sleep had maybe reset him a little and he just had a hard time waking up.
In thought of every good parent out there who has bad parent moments, I would like to share. I can sadly state that I have banged my baby's head on the wall pretty hard, actually I think probably each baby has had this happen because I carried them and I'm a klutz; but there was no brain damage. I have forgotten to feed people dinner because I wasn't hungry and wasn't paying attention; and no one starved. My children have left the house in yesterday's clothes without me noticing; and they were fine. One of my children once drank pop that was in a to-go cup in the garage that had been there for about a month that I hadn't taken care of and got sick; but was fine after about a day.
I have left a to-go cup sit in the garage for about a month and didn't notice it until my child was drinking it and I wondered where it came from; and well, I fell pretty crappy about that one . . . but we all lived. My children have left for school on occasion without teeth brushed or hair brushed and I didn't notice until we were at the school; but they didn't get kicked out or expelled for bad breath. I have not paid attention to my own "you can only have a few pieces of candy from your Easter basket" statement and found dozens of wrappers under the couch; but their teeth didn't fall out. One time I actually spilled my drink, accidentally of course, on to my own child in a restaurant; but the child air-dried and forgot their temporary humiliation after seeing my own remorse.
I try my best. I screw up. I apologize. And I keep trying. That is what a good parent does. Those bad parent moments should never define us. Apologize for them and move on. Use them to teach that everyone screws up. Everyone falls down; but it is how you get back up that really matters.
Tonight I am thankful (especially after writing that relatively small list of my collection of mis-haps) that I have some pretty awesome children that I haven't messed up!