Sunday, February 5, 2012

Parenting is hard work

By Philip Copitch, Ph.D.

y son Josh sent me the little video clip at the end of this blog entry. It shows a mom cat taking care of her mischievous kittens.

I have shown this to a few moms in the last week and each mom said about the same thing. "I wish I was a better mom."

The pressure to be a "Great Parent" is astronomical. But often the pressure is self imposed and self defeating. Most parents do a great job... but... we only notice the screw ups. I once bopped my oldest son's head on the car door frame as I was putting him into his car seat. He didn't even cry. He just looked at me in a way that I interpreted as, "This is not good... my dad is an idiot."

All parents make mistakes. But most of what we do is wonderful. We tend to remember the screw-ups and beat ourselves up with them. This is not psychologically healthy for us.

This mommy cat shows us how hard it is to be a good parent. So my advice is to take it easy on yourself. Learn from your mistakes and don't dwell on them. In fact it is probably good to laugh at your mistakes as you learn from them.

That being said, my oldest boy is now 23 and I am still talking about how I hit him on the head with the car door frame.

Be kind to yourself,

Dr. Phil
Parenting is a lot of work!