This parenting thing is hard
When my oldest daughter was four she had a full blown temper tantrum in the aisle of a grocery store. We are talking lying face down, hands flailing, screaming. I did what parenting books taught me to do. I walked away and pretended to be more interested in the pasta on the shelf that her antics. It was really embarrassing. But what made it worse was everyone that walked by avoided us like the plague. I just wanted someone to acknowledge that this parenting thing is hard, and we are not in it alone.
No matter how good the parenting approach you apply is, at some point your kids will make poor choices. Sometimes they have good reason, they’re overtired, overstimulated or anxious. Sometimes they won’t. Sometimes you will make a terrible parenting move, like put ketchup on the wrong part of their plate, turn the TV off after only 5 warnings, or tell them they can’t wear that snowsuit since it’s July. In that moment, the only person you are in control of is yourself. I recommend slow breathes and not making any hasty decisions. I learned quickly that banning TV punished me as much as my kids as I was now stuck entertaining them.
Parenting can really suck sometimes. Which is why we need to stick together. I am way less judgemental of other parents since becoming one myself. I used to see people giving their kids unhealthy snacks and think “there’s no way I’d buy that for my kids.” Unfortunately, as much as I would love to make organic, sugar free treats, I don’t have time, and my kids probably wouldn’t eat it anyway. Costco for the win.
I wish it was more culturally appropriate for us to speak to strangers. Because then I’d love to say to other parents “hey, parenting is hard isn’t it, but you’re doing a great job!” Maybe I should start doing that anyway. Even, if I’m not comfortable speaking out, I can at least hold off on my judgements. We are all parenting as best we can, after all.