5 Ways to Empower Yourself Through “I’m A Horrible Parent” Moments
Today marks the first day of a special series that will be running throughout the summer. It’s the Summer Guest Blogger Series! For this series, I have invited some of my favorite bloggers to share their insights with you. We kick off the series with Candice Lodree from Life Preperations. She provides online coaching, as well as a very informative and uplifting blog. So without further ado – let’s give a warm welcome to Candice!
5 Ways to Empower Yourself through “I’m A Horrible Parent” Moments!
One fine sunny day I was surrounded by four children, all under the age of seven, screaming at the top of their lungs a language I didn’t understand. I literally transported to another universe and was looking at myself outside of my body. I didn’t take a shower that day, missed my morning coffee, my hair was in a messy bun and I was covered with everything you could possibly imagine. I couldn’t think straight, my head was pounding, I had tears welling up in my eyes and all of sudden I screamed: “ALL OF YOU MONSTERS GET AWAY FROM RIGHT NOW!” Eight little innocent eyes looked up at me in shock and stood still as if Big Foot walked in the room. For one minute and twenty-three seconds, no one including myself made a sound. Suddenly, as my mouth formed to apologize to the little ones, my oldest son said sadly “Let’s go, everybody, let’s leave mommy alone.”
My heart sunk. All the tears that were sitting in my eye sockets were now falling down my face full speed ahead. The thoughts that were racing through my mind were going a mile a minute.
“You’re a monster, how could you say something like that to your children.”
“They are going to hate you forever, you will never live this down.”
“Children remember everything, they will never forgive you for this.”
“You don’t deserve to be a mother if you talk to your children like this.”
“What if they tell someone what you said, everyone, is going to judge you.”
All of a sudden my heart start palpating fast, I was breathing heavy and I could feel my legs getting weak. When I gathered myself together I ran into the bathroom and just sat on the bathroom floor crying my eyes out. I honestly didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if I should run to them and apologize and give them all the candy and toys they wanted. I didn’t know if I should ignore what happened and just continue on with my day. I even considered calling my husband and telling him I had a nervous breakdown, so he could come home and allow me to sit in the bathroom and torture myself all day.
As I continue to let my thoughts race through my mind contemplating on what to do next, I hear a soft knock on the door. I opened the door and it was my five-year daughter looking at me with the cutest innocent eyes on earth.
She said, “Mommy, we’re sorry, we didn’t mean to make you sad.”
I stated to her “Baby, you didn’t do anything wrong, I’m sorry for what I said and I will do my best to never say that to you again.”
She crawled into my lap and hugged my waist and we just sat there, not speaking just letting our breath move in sync with each other. Then my son, daughter, and niece all came pouring in and climbed on top of us as if nothing happen. We laughed, sung a song and laughed some more before we got up and left the bathroom. I’m happy to say the rest of the day went smooth as normal.
While the little negative Nancy in me attempted to keep replaying that horrible moment in my head, I did my best to focus on the present and see that my kids and niece were not affected by it as much as I was. It also allowed me to reflect on the moments leading to the outburst and apply helpful tools to prevent me from reliving that “I’m a horrible parent” moment again. Here are some empowering tips to help you push through those not so happy parenting moments.
Empowering Tip 1: Practice Breathing Techniques.
While I was surrounded by all of the children screaming, dancing and literally acting completely obnoxious, the one thing I didn’t do was stop and breathe. I was so focused on what was happening, I didn’t take the time to do the very one thing that would have calmed me down. When you’re in the moment of complete chaos, close your eyes and breathe in on a five count and breathe out on a five count. Do it until you feel relaxed and ready to address the chaos you’re in. You would be surprised how your action of breathing could transcend to your children and actually get them to calm down and mimic what you’re doing.
Empowering Tip 2: Create Pick Me Up Cards.
If you end up having an “I’m a horrible parent” moment, create pick me up cards that will give you the push you need to carry on with your day. Purchase a pack of index cards, colorful highlighters, and some stickers. Take ten cards and on each one write down a statement that makes you happy. Write each statement with a different color highlighter and decorate them with stickers. Sample statements you could write will be “Parenting is hard, but I’m killing it right now.” “I’m a loving and amazing parent that loves my children unconditionally.” “I make a slamming chicken casserole that no one can touch!” Keep these cards accessible so when you need to break them out, you can find them and move through your day.
Empowering Tip 3: Give Yourself A Time Out
Who said timeouts are only for kids. Reflecting back on my experience, I realized if I would have removed myself from the situation while the chaos was going on, I could have prevented myself from saying what I said to my little ones. Therefore, when you see things getting out of control, your mind is racing and you’re on the verge of yelling at the top of your lungs, give yourself a time out. Find a space in your house that is separate from all the chaos and give yourself five minutes. Give yourself a chance to regroup and get back in control of the situation.
Empowering Tip 4: Create Your Own Mantra.
Sometimes when were in the thick of it, it is a challenge to escape and remove yourself from the chaos. This is when you have to escape in your mind before you can escape physically. Think of one of two sentences that make you feel at peace and calm. It could be “I will not be stressed and I will overcome this challenge.” “This too shall pass, things are already getting better.” “Thank you God for blessing me with peace, I will receive it in this moment.” Repeat whatever sentences that bring you peace and do not stop until you physically feel it. You will gain back control of your mind body and soul and will continue to proceed throughout your day.
Empowering Tip 5: Forgive Yourself.
This is the most important tip due to as parents, we occasionally forget we are human and will make mistakes. We are going to have slip ups, mishaps, gut cringing moments that we won’t believe actually happened. The best part about it is, you will recover. Children are the epitome of what unconditional love is. They look at you as if you are the best thing since slice bread, therefore, you can only do good in their eyes. Reflect on that not so great moment, forgive yourself and move forward. The best thing you can do for them is to accept your faults and do better next time.
While I can’t say that you will never have another “I’m A Horrible Parent.” moment again, I can say that the next one may not be so rough if you apply the tips above. Remember that you are not alone, remember that your little ones love you unconditionally and remember that despite your actions, you are doing the best you can with what you have.
Peace & Blessings
Candice Lodree, M.S.
A little bit about me: I am a woman that wears many hats like several amazing women in this world! I’m a child of God, wife, mother and Family Life Coach. My life is crazy with moments of bliss that take my breath away. My purpose in life is to bring those moments of bliss to everyone around me through the gifts that God has blessed me with!
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