One thing I stress in my practice for parent-kid relationships is the importance of true, connected time. These days, in a world where families are busy and blended – I think more than ever, it’s quality over quantity.
Particularly since so many families navigate part-time connections to their children because of divorce or job commitments, what remains important are the looking and seeing moments. Staying home all day with your children while you are overwhelmed, disconnected, or wishing you were somewhere else doesn’t serve them—or you—well. Conversely, assuming you have less influence or connection because you see your children only “on weekends” or during the odd hours of balancing shiftwork is simply not true.
When we tell ourselves we’re not enough, we are much more inclined to look away. Those of us as parents who inevitably feel “less than enough”—particularly when we are navigating messy divorces or the pull of our careers—are much more likely to jump in with our whole hearts if we are reminded, just a little more often, that we are “more than enough.”
Next time you’re feeling like it’s all too much, or that you’re “failing” as a parent, please remind yourself that you are enough. You’re doing SO many things right. Allow me to reassure you that kids are supposed to talk back and meltdown, it’s part of development, baby. And finally, give yourself a pat on the back and the permission to phone a friend. Because we were never meant to do any of this alone – especially be solely responsible for the development of another.