Let Go of Parenting Guilt; You are Enough
I sometimes ask myself, “Am I doing enough? Am I doing enough for my kids or does my work get in the way of being there for them? Do I ever really in the present moment at work or home? Or am I living with one foot in and one foot out? Am I doing everything as well as I possibly can or could I do better? Parent guilt is real. It’s a true epidemic and one that tears many parents apart.
Parenting Guilt and Self-Doubt is Real
Feelings of inadequacy around your ability to parent can be overwhelming and debilitating. Guilt floods in and clouds your confidence and self-worth. You doubt whether you’re a good enough parent. You may find yourself yelling and screaming at your kids, which often is directly followed by regrets and self-deprecating thoughts.
Sound Familiar? Let me tell you a story….
Believe Your Kids Are Enough – It Matters
Growing up I always knew I wanted to work with kids and my biggest dream was to become a mother one day. Well, actually that’s not entirely true because from the time I was little, around 3 years old, I loved clothes and thought I might be a fashion designer! I knew what I liked and I wasn’t about to let my mom tell me what to wear. So you can imagine what power struggles may have formed as I tried to dress myself for school each morning!
We lived on a farm in Boring, Oregon and strutting around in my purple polka dot pants, pink shirt with hearts, striped rainbow socks and a huge bow was A-OK in my book. It went together perfectly and no one else would tell me otherwise. This is where my strong personality and drive began to form. It’s exactly who I am today.
Over the years I was a take-charge kind of gal and didn’t really like being told what to do or when to do it. If my parents said left, I went right. If they said walk, I ran.
Do Your Kids Have Strong-Willed Personalities?
It’s not easy raising kids and I’m still thanking my parents for putting up with me as I worked my way along this journey of ‘growing up’. It’s a tough road to travel for both the parents and children. Lucky for me, I have parents who continuously travelled this treacherous road beside me. They believed in me whole-heartedly and always felt I was enough. Sure, they made mistakes as parents and I made lots of mistakes growing up, we all do. But, the biggest gift they gave me was that they believed in me and were always teaching me to believe that I was enough too!
You Are Enough
As time went on, my personality was still strong, but as I stood in a fork in the road, trying to decide what next step was the right step, I struggled. I knew working with kids was a passion of mine, but I was juggling becoming a pediatric doctor to put my science background to use or becoming an elementary teacher so I could have more time off with my kids (someday when I actually got married and had kids that is)!
Standing at this fork, I knew my life would play out differently depending on if I went left or right. Those feelings began to flood back in…was I enough? If I just became a teacher I wouldn’t make very much money, but if I become a doctor I’d have a better income, but no time for my kids? UGH!!! I was young and lost. Luckily, I had my parents to help me work through all of these emotions.
Don’t Doubt Yourself – Dive In
Finally, I bucked up and made a choice! I used my AAA planning skills and I decided to get my masters in Early Childhood Education, this way, hopefully one day, I would have the opportunity to spend more time raising my own kids! I have to say, this was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Teaching all day kindergarten in Beaverton, Oregon were some of the best years of my life. My students taught me more than I will ever be able to repay.
Children Constantly Teach Us
Spending my days with 5 year old kindergartners who came from low income housing, lived with multiple extended family members, often sharing beds or sleeping on the floor, eating free and reduced lunch at school because they didn’t have money to eat at home, 90% non-English speaking, drinking water color water because they’d never seen or used paints before, unsure how to cross their legs “criss-cross-applesauce,” desperate for love, attention and to truly be heard. These kids were enough. They were more than enough, but they didn’t always know it.
Accomplishments Create Confidence
Each morning as my students flooded into the classroom, with giant smiles, some with dirty faces I would help clean with warm cloths, I knew my life was enough. I was enough because these kids relied on me. They were relying on me to believe in them and teach them to believe that they were enough. I was able to take 30 students year and year and teach them to speak English, read, pass all academic state standards with flying colors and most importantly to believe in themselves. They finally, felt like they were enough. They had a place and that place was at school every day feeling safe, secure and enough.
I didn’t make much money teaching, but it wasn’t the money that brought me happiness, it was the gift to be their teacher. My students brought me happiness. As I became their guide, mentor and security blanket I learned that they taught me just as much, if not more than I did them. I knew to my core that everyone is enough, even me. All of me, all of my choices, all the forks I decided to take in the road.
Teaching is where believing in myself flourished. Where I knew, without a doubt that I was enough and I was right where I was meant to be.
Each person that passes you on the street, every human that crosses your path, all the unique personalities of your kids, are all enough.
You are enough.
I am enough.
Every children are enough.
It’s not always easy to believe you are enough. This is why it’s your greatest job as parents to instill this belief in your kids. Engrave it into their soul. Mark it in their hearts.
“You are enough”
It doesn’t’ matter what anyone else thinks, says or does. You matter just the way you are. If it’s purple polka dot pants and a hot pink shirt with hearts, if it’s all your quirky quirks, your parenting mistakes or the choices you make; it’s always enough.
It’s important for me to share my story with you, because I want you to know that it hasn’t always been easy for me to feel I’m enough. I am human just like you. Through the years, I’ve doubted my popularity at times, wondered if I would be successful in my career, second-guessed some of my decisions, and often still question, am I enough? But… then I stop and look around.
Hudson and Beckett, my two amazing and utterly perfect (in my eyes) boys are my everything. I Was lucky enough to marry my ‘Zing’ who I met on a random night in Las Vegas when fate brought us together. My teaching career and life choices took me down this path where I have been fortunate enough to build my own business where I get to help parents just like you. Working with to build your confidence and sense of enough, while creating a more joyful parenting experience. Let’s face it, this is my path and it’s all enough.
I want nothing more than to guide my boys along this journey as they grow, mature and develop. As they travel those bumpy roads, I want them to always know… “YOU ARE ENOUGH!” I’ve read this book cover to cover and nowhere does it say anything different. Let’s help our kids feel capable and confident each and every day.
Teach your kids to be true to who they are and they will always be enough!
PS. Discover your current parenting approach and find out why it might not be working