Hi There Faithful Families Parents! You’re the type of person who wants to create all of the meaningful faith-filled moments with your kids. (I know, because I’ve met hundreds of you.) You, like me, want to savor every moment because you know (because people like me are constantly reminding you) that children grow up way too fast and then, you blink, and they’re off to college. You work incredibly hard, both inside your homes and outside of them. A lot of you are completely exhausted. All the time.
Lean in a little closer because I want to make sure to tell you this right in your ear:
Nobody does this parenting thing perfectly. We are all messing it up a lot of the time.
We shout. We say something we regret. We are less present with our families than we want to be. We make an effort do do something meaningful and then it falls flat and everyone’s mad and crying. We say to ourselves “I can’t believe I let them eat that and watch that, and do that.” When trouble comes it gets worse. I’m the reason my child is anxious/struggling/jumpy/having a tantrum/sad/sick. We blame ourselves.
I know this. I live this.
I worry a lot about what it does to all of us when the bar is set so high for parenting. I worry about how I contribute to this as the author of a book on creating sacred moments at home. Am I just one more voice out there telling parents to do one more thing? Parents already have ample opportunities to mess their children up for life, and I creating another one? Even worse, what does it say when I end the day feeling exhausted and inadequate? If I can’t do it, how can I expect others to do it?
When we tune in and listen to the things we tell ourselves as parents, it can be pretty dismal sometimes. I’m not doing it right. Other parents are better at this. I should be doing different things. My children are going to be maladjusted and it’s going to be all my fault. I’ve been thinking for awhile about some affirmations for all of us. Things we can say at the end of the day when the worry tapes start playing. I wrote them for me, but if they’re helpful for you, too, please enjoy them. I thought about making a little printable for you so you could print these out and tape them to your wall and then I thought Nope. If you want these in your life, take the time to write them or type them with your own hands. That way you might start to believe them.
Carry on, hardworking parents who want to do right by your children. You are enough.
30 Grace-Filled Affirmations for Parents When You’re “Doing it Wrong.”
- I have provided the basic needs for my children today. Food, shelter and safety. I can worry about “extras” another day.
- I am doing the best I can.
- Parenting is more than 18 years of hard work. It is impossible not to make some mistakes along the way.
- The more I learn and experience, the better I am getting at parenting.
- It is a good and smart thing to reach out and ask for help when I need it.
- When I lose my temper it is an opportunity for my children to see that I have limits, too.
- My children’s success and happiness in life is dependent on a lot of different factors. I can not control all of them.
- There are other people in my child’s life who can help shape and teach him/her. I don’t have to do it all myself.
- When I make a mistake, even a large one, God forgives me, every time.
- Children are resilient.
- It is appropriate to take time for myself. When I take time for myself, it helps me to be a better parent.
- There are other people who enjoy being with my children. By allowing others to help, I am giving a gift to them and to my children. It is not a sign of weakness to allow others to care for them.
- Children learn valuable life lessons when they are bored, sad, or working through a problem.
- I am responsible to work with my partner create a family environment that works for our family. It doesn’t have to look like other families we know or are related to.
- Parenting is difficult. All parents feel doubts and worries at some point. I am not alone.
- When I lose my patience or say something I regret, it gives me an opportunity to model what it means to apologize and ask for forgiveness.
- I am known, loved, and seen by God.
- I am grateful for challenging moments because they help my family grow and learn.
- When I notice things aren’t going as well as I would like, I can make a course correction and change them.
- Some days are busier than other days and provide less opportunity for fun and connection. I remember this on less busy days and take advantage of that.
- I treat myself with the same level of kindness, dignity, and respect with which I would want to treat a friend.
- I trust my own instincts and abilities.
- Even experts who write books and provide advice on parenting sometimes have difficult days.
- When I feel frustrated or overwhelmed, this feeling is not permanent.
- I am not obligated to do the same thing other parents are doing.
- I am free.
- Children are not harmed by ______. (Eating the same meal two days in a row, drinking a glass of soda, watching age appropriate videos, wearing clothes that don’t match, whatever your “guilty” thing is.)
- Just because other parents provide ___, doesn’t mean my children are missing out because we don’t provide it.
- It is ok to stop doing an activity (or come home from a place) when we aren’t enjoying it or when it is not working.
- Every day provides new opportunities and possibilities.
What affirmations would you add? I’ll maybe add them to the list! Leave yours in the comments.