As parents, we may feel that we need to be the ones that hold it together for our families. That we need to operate at inhuman levels all the time and that we’re not allowed to feel less than that.
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s been that it’s okay not to be okay all the time. As a parent, you are allowed to have emotions and to feel them. You are allowed to need breaks or have an off day.
These things do not make you a terrible parent. They make you a real one. They make you a relatable one.
Sometimes, by keeping it all together all the time, we are sending the wrong message to our children. We may see it as being strong, but our children may learn that it’s not okay for them to struggle and have off days. Or that it’s not okay to discuss difficult topics.
Which is not what we want them to learn. We want to help our children learn how to manage their emotions and fears in healthy and productive ways instead of sweeping them into a corner or covering them up.
When parents can be real and vulnerable and articulate their fears and concerns, it is very liberating for kids. They feel they have a safe space to discuss their thoughts and feelings, especially when parents can use Effective Communication.
We’re going to get through this. You’re doing a fantastic job dealing with everything that’s happening. And it’s okay to take those breaks and eat the chocolate!