It’s OK to be Human, Mama…
When my son was 11-months-old, I stumbled upon a group of women who would later morph into a small, weekly playgroup. All of our kiddos were the same age- most within weeks of each other, and all within months. For YEARS we met weekly. These mamas kept me sane and got me thru those intense years of being a stay-at-home-mom. When they babies went to kindergarten, we naturally began meeting less frequently…but we are still connected on our super-secret Facebook group and see each other in person a few times each year (we are scattered throughout our big city).
When we were weathering that stage of toddlerhood into preschoolers, I remember telling one of these dear ladies who was being super duper hard on herself for losing her cool at her sweet child… “Sometimes the natural consequence of being a total pain is that you get yelled at.” This is especially true if your connected, attuned, attachment-focused mama has attempted to do all those things repeatedly (be connected, be attuned, be attachment focused….) and the annoying behavior still hasn’t stopped.
Here’s the thing.
Yeah, we shouldn’t yell at other people. Big people or small people. We should try to keep our cool. We should work hard on staying regulated because it’s better for our small people and it’s better for ourselves.
But we cannot take the human out of parent.
Try as we might, we just cannot. And actually, we should not.
Once…probably about the same time period in my super fantastic son’s life (who is now almost 11)…I was walking thru the mall with my mom. My parents live a plane ride away….I can’t really remember the occasion for the trip but my mom and I pretty much always go shopping when we are together. Anyway. My preschool child- maybe kindergardener, I really don’t remember…was a few steps ahead of us acting a fool. I remember looking at my mom, not breaking my stride, nodding toward my son, and saying “People pay me for parenting advice.” Oh, we laughed.
We are all struggling…attempting to do our best. And sometimes our best isn’t super pretty. Sometimes it’s yelling. Sometimes it’s totally losing our cool. Sometimes it’s chucking a granola bar at your kid at point blank range because you just bought a Costco size box of these granola bars that your picky eater SWEARS he loves and three days into this Costco size box of granola bars he looks at you sheepishly and says “Uh…I don’t really like those….” (I mean, I’m totally making that up…)
It’s ok to be human.
It’s OK to mess up. In fact, secure attachment is made up of just as much rupture and repair as it is getting it right in the first place. The repair piece is important…we have to reconnect after a rupture in relationship. A genuine, authentic “I’m sorry” and reconnection.
Rupture happens without us trying. It’s inevitable. We are human. Our humanity, in all of it’s flawed wonderment, is exactly what our kids need.
It’s OK to be human. Promise.
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