Today I cried at the imperfect parent I am

Today I read a post I needed to read. It started simple “Today I cried”.

And today, I did cry.

Tonight I lie here with my son curled up in bed next to me as we have a “sleepover” and my mind is churning.

Because today I cried.

But not because it was difficult, although it was.

And not because my children pushed all my buttons at once, although they did.

Not because I’m sleep deprived and craving coffee, although I most certainly am.

Today I cried because I felt as though I was letting my children down.

All three of them.

Each with different needs, different issues and different problems. Problems that I want to fix. To kiss better. To put a plaster on and send them smiling off to play.

But it doesn’t always work that way.

Sometimes problems are small, sometimes problems are big, sometimes the problems are leading to the issues and sometimes the needs of one child is compounding the issues of another.

But the thing I realised today, is that no matter what the problem, how big or small you perceive it to be.

It will still be big for your child.

And today I cried at the realisation. At not knowing how to help.

Because all I want to do is help. To kiss three happy, thriving boys goodnight and know that I have done my best.

And tried my hardest.

Through the times I lost my shit. The days they wind me up. The nights I go to bed and promise myself tomorrow I will be different.

And today I cried because even with all of that I cannot always fix everything with a wave of a magic mummy wand.

I don’t always make it better and sometimes I make it worse whilst trying to fix it.

Today I cried at the imperfect parent I am, the one who is learning and muddling through making mistakes.

Today I cried for the times I shouted when I should have cuddled, rolled my eyes when I should have questioned, stopped and listened when I hurried them along.

Today I cried for mistakes I’ve made and will try not to make again.

Today I cried.

And tonight I had a sleepover with my seven year old son. Who, after popping him to bed and sneaking down for my dinner, waited up for me to come join him, gave me the biggest smile, the biggest cuddle.

As I lie here next to him in the darkness of the night I can hear his breathing. Calm. Measured. Secure in the knowledge that I am here with him.

He is restful.

And in being so, he is making me restful.

Because, yes, today I cried.

Today I saw my parenting failures. And I will learn from them.

Because tomorrow they still need me. I may still make mistakes, but I can still learn.

Tomorrow I may cry. Tomorrow I may not.

But that’s parenting.

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