We’ve all been there one time or another. Those moments, hours, days, weeks, or even months where our passion for learning and growing as parents doesn’t show up very strong.
When you don’t feel like reading any books, learning from others, or implementing new ways of handling situations with your child. You’re just going through the motions, surviving each day. You are just exhausted.
And, on top of all of this, you feel heavy guilt for not feeling passionate about being a better parent.
I feel you.
Recently, I was feeling as described above. I was honestly burnt out trying to absorb more knowledge, find new strategies, and read about anything to do with parenting. I wanted a brain break.
But, guess what? I let it happen, and the guilt that was creeping in…I let that go as well.
You see, in my honest opinion, being the parent you want to be doesn’t mean you have to constantly have your head in books or have all of the information about the different parenting styles that are out there.
Being a good parent means you are waking up each day, caring for your children the best way you know how, and believing in yourself as a competent mother or father.
If we are supposed to be gentle and respectful toward our children, then what about us? What does pressuring and inwardly scolding ourselves say about our children in the future? Remember, our children pick up on our habits and reactions.
If you are struggling and feeling like you’re not doing enough to become better, then join me and reiterate the following three points to yourself:
Point #1: Use and reuse what you already know.
If you’re feeling burnt out but want to try and be the best parent you can be, use the information that you already know and implement it as often as you can until you feel passionate about learning more, and thus implementing more of what you learn.
Example: Your child hits, bites, does something you know isn’t out of the norm for them; tell them you can’t let them hit/bite/etc and gently block them from these actions or remove them from the situation if it continues. Use this method instead of trying to come up with new solutions or feeling angry because you THINK you don’t know enough to help the situation. And use this instead of resorting back to old, unwanted habits such as yelling at your child or blaming them for their reactions.
Point #2: Be gentle with yourself.
Let yourself be sometimes. Leave yourself alone. Read a book unrelated to parenting, do something fun for yourself. There’s no such thing as perfection, so stop trying to be perfect.
You want to take some time for yourself to do something you like instead of cleaning and reorganizing after a long day? Do it. The mess will be cleaned and your house back in order tomorrow or another day (as your history has proven time and time again, wink wink).
Point #3: Don’t give up out of frustration.
Just because you feel guilty for not “knowing more” or investing every waking hour to consuming more parenting-related knowledge, don’t give up your endeavors by throwing in the towel and resorting back to your old ways (feeling like a hopeless mess).
Once you get through this dip, this temporary lack of passion, you will feel motivated to delve into learning and growing again. Give yourself time. Forgive yourself, take care of yourself.
The knowledge will be there. You will find that passion again. Take a breather, let go of the guilt. Begin again when you’re ready.