Mom, You Get to Feel Your Feelings, Too

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In case no one ever told you: Mom, your feelings matter, too.

 

a smartphone with an Instagram app icon on a marble countertopI follow a lot of parenting and motherhood-related accounts on Instagram, and if you’re a social media user, you probably do, too.

 

I particularly like to find encouragement in accounts that coach their followers in positive parenting tactics, but sometimes, it just gets … too positive for me. I love that these parenting experts provide an important reminder that our kids are allowed to have bad days and display a variety of emotions. But, on the other hand, some seem to insinuate that you are not entitled to those same allowances as a mom.

 

If you’re like me, and you make a regular, intentional effort to praise your children’s good behavior, sit with them in their feelings, and allow them to have bad days, I have a message for all of us: we deserve the same treatment we endeavor to offer our kids.

 

You deserve praise from yourself and others for the good you are doing (which is a lot) and a heck of a lot less criticism for real or perceived mistakes you make.

 

You deserve time to sit in your own feelings.

 

And you deserve the freedom to have bad days, too.

 

Some days, your kids are going to throw a temper tantrum (or 12), and you will not have sufficient zen to respond calmly. That’s not realistic. And, that’s okay! You get to be in a bad mood, too! You get to exhibit what it looks like to feel all of your feelings, make mistakes, experience a calm down period, and apologize when you behave poorly.

 

an African American woman in a black and white striped dress holding up her hands in the "timeout" signal

 

Yes, you are the adult in the room, and therefore held to a higher standard of behavior, but you are also a person with complex emotions who can be affected by the behavior of others.

 

You are not your kids’ teacher, therapist, or playmate. You are not an objective observer of their behavior. As the mom, you are in a deep, lifelong relationship with your kids, and there will be highs and lows throughout that relationship. There will be times you will all have to apologize to each other for sharp words or tempers lost. It’s okay. We are all human and learning how to be a family together.

 

It’s wonderful to be a calm and patient parent. On days when that’s you, that’s worth celebrating. On days when that’s not you, give yourself some grace and know that you are still a wonderful mom and person.

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