Parenting is both a blessing and a burden. The blessing is the obvious part but a burden because you love those little people so much you'd die for them which means you want to do your absolute best at parenting them all of the time. However being human gets in the way of that sometimes because as a parent you can't get it right all of the time.
Sometimes you'll shout at them, sometimes you won't want to bake buns or get the glitter out (no parent likes glitter surely?!), sometimes you'll tell them the soft play is closed (because you can't bear the thought of all those screaming children and trying to calm yours down when you finally convince them to leave!), sometimes you’ll stick them on their tablets or in front of the TV so you can get some jobs done and sometimes you'll be counting down the minutes until bed time when you can have some peace (and gin!).
When you do or don't do all of these things you'll feel guilty, you'll feel like you're failing your little blessings and that everyone else is doing it better. You'll feel like you're never quite good enough or that people are judging you.
But there will be many, many times where you sit under a duvet with them watching endless episodes of Peppa Pig when they are poorly or stay up late making a costume for a themed day at school (that you only found out about earlier that day!). There will be countless times that you have comforted them when they were hurt or upset and endless times that you sat reading them bedtime stories (funny voices included) or helping them with their homework. You’ll run around after school and on weekends taking them to parties, dance lessons, football, swimming lessons sacrificing time for yourself so they can do the things that make them happy. You will work extra hours, sometimes even an extra job to be able to buy them that toy they are so desperate for just so you can see that look of joy when they receive it or so you can take them on holidays where you will make memories that last a life time.
So the next time you give yourself a hard time for 'getting it wrong' try to remember all the many times you got it so very right. Try to comfort yourself with the knowledge that you are human and fallible and that they love you anyway. You are their world and what you are modelling is that it’s okay to get things wrong sometimes. You are showing them it's okay to be human and vulnerable and not perfect all of the time. As adults they will thank you for that and when they become parents themselves they will thank you all over again because they will know that you understand the need to get it right all of the time and the guilt that comes with ‘getting it wrong'. They will come to you for comfort and reassurance that they are good enough. And you won’t criticise them you'll let them know it’s okay and that they are doing their best. You'll offer to take the children out to give them a break and some time to recharge. You won't begrudge this or resent them for it.
So the next time someone offers to help you as a parent snatch their hand off!! Give yourself some much needed time to just be you. Go for a walk, have a spa day, go for a bike ride, meet a friend for coffee/gin/beer. Do whatever feeds your soul and try to do it regularly because you'll come back in to your role as a parent with a renewed energy and patience. You'll be more able to be the parent you want to be. You may have even mustered up the strength to get the glitter out!!
You can't pour from an empty cup, so refill that cup as often as you can.