Well here it is six days into June and I'm just getting around to putting up my project for the month. I could feel bad about that, but that is NOT what #project30days is about! I actually started on the 4th, so I will just go a bit into July and not sweat it!
I struggled a bit with coming up with a project for this month. The last two months have all been about exploring my inner self and my reactions to doing or not doing certain things every single day, but I kind of wanted to push outside of that box a little bit. In my heart I knew what I needed to do.
Now for the real talk. I have had a rough month with Ryan. His behavior has been extremely challenging and frustrating to me, to the point that I don't even want to be around him.
Yes, I said it.
I have no desire to spend time with my son. AT ALL. I dread practically every interaction I have with him, and I'm sure on some level he feels that. The other day I was so upset by this, I made myself go lay next to him in his bed after he was asleep just so I could feel connected to him. My heart aches for my child and for myself. I'm putting this out here because I think it is important as parents to be honest with each other. I know I love my son, but I have been struggling to feel that on a day-to-day basis. Does this make me a bad parent? Does this mean there is something wrong with me?
Some people might be shocked that I would put this out here for the world to see, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only parent who has ever felt this way. If you are reading these words and you know what I'm talking about, I just want to tell you are not alone. There is not something wrong with you. You are not a bad parent. Being a parent is hard. Being a good parent is one of the most difficult jobs there is and struggling for perfection does not make me a better at it. Hiding behind a wall of guilt does not make me a better parent. Being ashamed of my feelings does not make me a better parent.
What does make me a better parent? Recognizing my limits, addressing my fears and my doubts, honoring my true emotions, and holding onto my intense desire to help my son succeed make me a better parent. Mistakes make me a better parent. Failing makes me a better parent. Letting things go makes me a better parent. These statements are extremely hard for me to write, but I'm putting this out there because I know I am not the only one who needs to say them and own them. I am not perfect and never will be. I will make mistakes. I will fail. And even still, I am a good parent.
So for the month of June I will spend time each day learning to enjoy my child again. I plan on doing one thing, big or small, each day to show him how much he means to me. Yesterday I left a surprise note on his Kindle letting him know I love him. Today I'm going to take him to a thrift store that he loves. I have started a list and I am up to 12, so if you have any ideas for me, I would appreciate them. How do you show your kids how much they mean to you in a way that they will really get? Parenting is a team sport, and I need some serious help from the bench right now.