Why is it so easy to be so hard on ourselves??

I was spending time with a very good girl friend of mine yesterday.

She was lamenting about her daughter still not sleeping thought the night. She had tried various methods from the no-cry solution to full cry it out, and her daughter is still not getting the hang of settling herself to sleep. She and her husband are exhausted

“I feel like I must have done something wrong, but I don’t know what it is or what to do.” She worried

As she said this, she settled into the couch with her daughter to breastfeed, and my heart sank just a little bit.  Our babies are the same age, but I had given up on breastfeeding a few months ago after I just wasn’t producing enough to meet her needs.  I am bummed that I did not make it to a year and feel guilty that I couldn’t.

While I was feeling bad about my ability to feed my daughter, my friend asked about her sleeping.

“Is Rylan, sleeping?”

Well…I thought.  Yes.  She started doing 8 hours stretched of sleep at 7 weeks old and was sleeping through the night at about 4 months (6:30-6:30). She had never even really needed sleep training; she just sort of figured it out.

We had used the cry it out method with my son and he had the hang of it  in 3 nights and has been a great sleeper ever since.

SO, I have good sleepers.

She continued, “I don’t hear other people talking about this, I must be the only one who kids don’t sleep”

“But,” I reminded her, “she is a great breastfeeder!”

“True” she replied, somewhat dismissively.

And that is exactly it!  It is so easy to focus on the challenging parts of parenting while sweeping the things that came easier aside, thinking they are easy for everyone.

In fact, as I started to write this blog post, I thought…haven’t I written this before??

This having kids thing, that bonds us together, can also feel really isolating.  It is so easy to feel like you are the only parent in the world to go through whatever you are currently going through.

I challenge us ALL to take a few minutes and think of the part of parenting that have gone well for us.

  1. Your child is overall healthy
  2. Easy pregnancy
  3. Uncomplicated delivery
  4. No problems getting your baby to latch
  5. Abundant milk supply?
  6. Your baby took a bottle with ease
  7. Your baby is generally happy and not fussy
  8. Your kids are great sleepers at night
  9. Your kids are great nappers
  10. Your kids transitions to childcare easily
  11. Your baby liked solid foods when you introduced them
  12. Your baby has met developmentally appropriate milestones
  13. Potty training was relatively easy
  14. Your child rarely through a full blown temper tantrum
  15. Your child is sweet and funny and silly

For me, I can say YES! to 10 of these for my older son and 11 for  my daughter (we haven’t gotten to all of them with her).  So those are pretty good odds!! I think I am going to write, “my kids are good sleepers” on my hand…

Take a few minutes write now and write out a parenting mantra for your self.

MY KIDS ARE REALLY GOOD AT_________________

Or

IM A REALLY GOOD PARENT BECAUSE______________

Any time you start to feel unsure of yourself, read that mantra.

And call a friend, because, I promise, you are not the only one going through what you are going through.

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