D = Doubt In Parenting #SpankA2Z #Doubt #Parenting

D = Doubt in Parenting

My original post was supposed to be about D for Daddy, but I decided to take a left turn and do a post on Doubt in Parenting.  We as parents have our days where we wonder if we do anything right–ever.  

I am a parent, therefore, I doubt

When they put that sweet little baby–like the son I talked about two days ago–into your arms, you had no idea that you’d question every tear, every temper tantrum, every crisis, and every wrong turn as your fault.  

You question every single thing you do as a parent, all the time. The amazing thing out of all of it:  You finally realize and appreciate the love your parents have for you.   

When they can’t roll over at six months, you think it’s because you don’t put them on the floor enough, or you don’t have the right toys to entice them.  When they are late talking or have speech issues, you’re paralyzed wondering if you aren’t modeling speech well enough.  When your two year old is spending more time on the floor screaming or hitting every other two year old daily, you wonder what you’ve done wrong as a parent.  

It continues through every phase of their lives.  They can’t sit for story time, they don’t understand math, they aren’t writing like their peers, they don’t kick a soccer ball like the other kids.  

OR They’re too bossy, they’re too timid, they fight too much, they don’t know how to defend themselves.  They can’t dance, read music, carry a tune in a bucket, or play an instrument.  

OR they can’t do a somersault, do a cart wheel, debate well for the debate club, pass their driver’s test, play any sports, too competitive, they can’t pass the SATs, complete the Senior Project without an act of God, or they can’t speak Spanish/French/Latin.  

OR They can’t get into the college they want, get the roommate they want, be in the major they want, they can’t stay in college, they can’t handle college, they can’t get the job they want, the apartment they want, the boyfriend they want, the husband they want.   

And every step of the way, we parents are in the background chewing our nails, crying into tissue, wringing our hands, praying, pacing the floor, etc.  And ultimately, we are wondering and worrying if we failed somewhere along the way.   

I’m having one of those weeks and it’ll be added to the pile and pile of weeks that I’ve accumulated through the years.   

It’s funny to look over my shoulder and realize that none of those other issues were ever our fault. But at the time, we were convinced we were doing something wrong or needed to do more to help. Every single time, doubt and inadequacy riddled our hearts.  
It seems that every time a situation arises, perspective goes out the window and the self-doubt creeps back in.   

I want to assure parents of young (and older) children, that you aren’t alone.  We’ve all been there, and most of us are probably sitting in the same worried position you are in right now. And if experience can speak here, it’s nothing that you’ve done. But, because we’re all the same–you’ll agonize, read every book out there, and talk to dozens of other parents/teachers/counselors/coaches to discuss ad nauseam what can be done, should be done, etc.  And why is that??  Because you are great parents!  

And I guess the thing I’ve learned is — no matter what phase I’m in now–I’ll always worry about my kids.  I’ll always hope I’ve done or said the right things.  And I’m beginning to realize, I will probably go to my grave worrying if they’ll be okay after I’m gone.  

I’m talking to myself as well as all of you. We’ll be fine. They’ll be fine. We did our best and they are doing their best also.

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