Be Your Own Best Friend
How often have you experienced this scenario?
You have a rough morning with your kids. Your oldest can’t find their homework, your middle child refuses to get dressed, and then when you’re finally almost out the door, the baby poops. You take a pause to change the baby, the middle child kicks off their shoes again, and the oldest gets distracted on their phone. You have 3 drop-offs and an important meeting in 45 minutes. You LOSE IT! You yell! You maybe swear, you start slamming doors, and buckle your kids into their car seat with more vigor than usual! You can feel the pressure pushing down on your chest. Then on the way to drop off the kids someone cuts you off and now your kids know all the swear words!
You get to work, get into your meeting, and try to work. But you’re distracted. You keep replaying your morning over and over. You start to wonder, “What is wrong with me?”, “Am I a bad parent?”, “Do my kids know I love them.”, “Am I failing?”, “Am I the only parent that struggles?”
In these moments and on these difficult days it is important to disrupt these negative thoughts. Sure, you could’ve done 100 things differently that morning. You could’ve taken a deep breath or counted to 10. But you didn’t, and that’s okay. It’s an amazing thing being human. We get to have hard days and we even get to make mistakes. So, when those negative thoughts, the thoughts that tell you you’re not good enough. SHUT THEM DOWN! Shut them down like you would someone who is bad-mouthing your best friend. Talk to yourself like you would that best friend. “It’s okay.”, “We have hard days.”, “I am a good parent, and I love my kids.”. Then listen like you’d want your best friend to listen to you. You get to have hard days. You are a human; you get to make mistakes. You deserve your love.
Tasha Novotny, LICSW