By Guest Blogger Alisha Bisbee, MS, CSW, LPC
I love positive affirmations, but the ones that say “I’m a great mom” never hit me right. Now, hear me out. Being a parent is super hard. Harder than I ever imagined. I am a good parent, but I’m not always a great parent, and that’s okay. The takeaway from saying it this way is to actively work on being the best version of yourself as a parent.
Three things you can do to be the best version of yourself as a parent:
After a hard day as a parent, reflect on what happened. There have been plenty of days where I yelled at my kids way more than I wanted to, and I didn’t feel good about it at the end of the day. When they finally go to bed, I reflect on it and think about what I want to do differently tomorrow. If you have felt this way, ask yourself, what happened today? How was I feeling? How did I react when feeling that way? What do I want to do differently tomorrow?
Emotional self-regulation is an important part of our physical and mental well-being. According to Medical News Today (2022), emotional self-regulation refers to our ability to manage emotions and impulses. Self-regulation can be challenging as a parent. It is easy to become overwhelmed, over-stimulated, and completely stressed out. Pick one specific trigger and make it a goal to practice self-regulation when you’re triggered. Some examples of self-regulation include mindfulness, deep breathing, or click here for more helpful techniques.
Read a parenting book.
Two of my favorite books I’ve read as a parent and therapist are The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell and The Explosive Child By Ross W. Greene, Ph.D. There are so many other great parenting books out there, but no matter what book you read, take what you feel will be helpful to you in your life, adjust the language or technique as needed and apply it. If you feel stuck in a negative mindset with your parenting, parenting books can also help shift that mindset. Sometimes even reading one article or chapter can make a big difference.
Parenting is hard, and it’s okay if we are not always a great parent. What is important is that we continue to work on being the best version of ourselves as parents—picking one of the three things you can do to be the best version of yourself as a parent can help with that.
You got this.