We’ve had some rough parenting days. The long days that test, challenge and nearly break you; the weeks that try your spirit; the ones that cause you to remember that you are merely mortal, not superhuman and certainly not the perfect parental specimen.
There are evenings I sit down after bedtime is complete and I am rushed with thoughts of moments I could have managed better—been more understanding, gentle, kindly instructive, spontaneous, played more, prayed more, etc. Sometimes I come across an inspiring reminder or hilarious feed that brings levity. These days can be hard, but when you step back, they can also be sweet, ridiculous, precious and fleeting.
I don’t always walk through each day with this perspective, but as time marches on and the rough days come, I found myself leaning on a few grounding thoughts and quotes that help me to re-engage my children with love, thoughtfulness, humor and simply remembering to smile (this can change a lot for me).
So if you ever find yourself in a similar position, or needing a refresh, I hope these serve you as well.
Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work — C.S. Lewis
Being able to resolve conflicts peacefully is one of the greatest strengths we can give our children — Fred Rogers
When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join the chaos — L.R. Knost
The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice — Peggy O’Mara
Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth. For what they believe is what they’ll become — Brooke Hampton
Parenting isn’t a noun but a verb—an ongoing process instead of an accomplishment. And that no matter how many years you put into the job, the learning curve is, well, fairly flat — Jodi Picoult
What it means “to grow” is to practice something—one thing really deliberately—and do it over and over again. And then when you make a mistake, you look back and you close that loop really quickly by recognizing what went well and what didn’t go well, and then you practice it again — Ralphie Jacobs (Simply on Purpose)
If you can control your behavior when everything around you is out of control, you can model for your children a valuable lesson in patience and understanding…and snatch an opportunity to shape character — Jane Clayson Johnson
I don’t remember who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child ― Anne Lamott
Failing and laughing at your own shortcomings are the hallmarks of a sane parent — Jim Gaffigan
What tips do you have for getting through the rough days with grace?