We’re all doing the best we can. I’ve heard WAY too many moms of kids of all ages say, “It’s my fault my child struggles with _____.” (Insert your child’s struggle).
Because your child struggles with a life-threatening eating disorder and pushes you away.
Because your child struggles with depression and most days for him are hard days.
Because your child’s a drug addict, always looking for her next fix.
Because your child has crippling anxiety and is scared of his own shadow.
It must be something you did, right? I mean logically, YOU are the one raising them.
Maybe you coddled him too much.
Maybe you let her have free reign, not enough discipline.
Maybe you detected a learning disability too late in his life.
Maybe you enabled her because you couldn't watch her get hurt.
Maybe, maybe, maybe.
Look, you can go around torturing yourself with all these maybes. We all can, because we're not perfect. We’re all human, which makes us incredibly fallible. Even though my belief is our kids’ natures are pretty set, no matter the nurture (though the upbringing can make or break a person).
But there’s no arguing that at times we do fail them.
We fail them when we write down the wrong day for their soccer game and don’t show up.
We fail them when we scream and roll our eyes when they accidentally spill on the rug.
We fail them when we compare them to another child, making them feel small inside.
But, here’s the thing, no matter what our kids are going to struggle with something. Let's say my daughter has anxiety. Maybe with another family raising her, she would have the same anxiety, but not have a safe place to fall or the amount of love I give. Maybe she wouldn’t learn how to deal with it as quickly. Maybe she would develop an eating disorder to cope. Maybe she would develop an eating disorder regardless.
Maybe, maybe, maybe.
My point is, as hard as it is to swallow as a parent, our kids are going to struggle. Some will struggle more than others, and some will struggle less. Look at your life. I'm sure you've struggled with something/ or are still struggling. None of us are left unscathed.
This is why, if you encourage your kids to do hard things, and love on them when they fail or succeed, you’re a great mom.
If you encourage your kids to be kind people, and care about their happiness above anything, you’re a great mom.
If you show up as much as you can and love your kids unconditionally, you’re a great mom.
Give yourself grace, mama, you were meant to be theirs, and they were meant to be yours.
Because sometimes a soft landing-- a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on when they’re surfacing for air-- is all our children need.
Their struggle is NOT YOUR FAULT.
This post originally appeared on the author's Facebook. Her book Living FULL: Winning My Battle with Eating Disorder is available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2O4mJId
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