When I first became a parent, I felt like an impostor. Everyone else seemed to have a plan, to know what they were doing. They were already crunchy moms, trendy moms, Pinterest moms, organized moms. I didn’t even know if I was a good mom.
I was trying to tread water and mostly drowning.
From the beginning I was drawn to “attachment parenting” as a style, but the more I read about it and found groups, etc., the more inadequate I felt. I was hearing that I should fade more and more into the background, denying my own needs to become the “good mom” I desperately wanted to be. Again, I wasn’t good enough.
I was miserable.
Then I became a foster parent. I learned the importance of simple stuff: sitting with our kids, letting them feel. I even got a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy! Through all of this I had the freeing realization that attachment is a lot simpler than the set of rigid rules I had believed. Attachment boils down to connecting with our kids at a deep level, allowing them to feel their feelings, be who they are, and make mistakes while still being profoundly loved.
You guys, I have great news: Anybody can do that!
I have told parents in therapy, “Did you know if you were a PERFECT parent, then that would be a problem? Because you would never teach your children how to repair hurts in relationship caused by mistakes!” I have had to tell myself the same thing so many times. We have to fix hurts and disconnects. Repair makes connections stronger.
Repair creates connection that is powerful, not because it is flawless but because it is stronger than flaws, stronger than either individual, stronger than all the feelings life can throw at us.
We all want that, and we can all get there.
What a relief!
I hope that this blog will help all of us think about connecting with ourselves, our kids, and our world in creative ways. I also hope it will help us give ourselves some grace when it comes to all the “shoulds” we encounter in parenting!
So, dearest mom who is barely treading water, you are not alone! And you are enough. Welcome.