When you do your best as a parent, you do not have to feel guilt or shame. Be proud that you are there every day for your kids. Even if you struggle.
I recently saw an affirmation that read, “when I need perspective, I climb a mountain.”
Climb a mountain with me and view your life from a new perspective today.
As a solo parent, I often second guess my decisions. I reminisce about how I could do things better. I question my past decisions. Is it my fault such and such happened? Was it something I did why my kid thinks a certain way? Could I have handled the conversation or situation in a different way?
But when you do your best there’s no room for guilt or shame. What you need is to enhance the perspective you have on parenting.
You can come up with many ways to tear down what you have built. And yes. You built a family from the shambles of heartache. No matter how you became a solo mom, you dove in and took care of your children. You put them first, oftentimes to your own detriment. Determined to not fail them. And you haven’t. Once you change your perspective, there’s no stopping you.
But you can get lost in the guilt and shame that comes when you don’t believe you did, or are doing a good job with your children. But whose “good job” standard are we using?
Success comes in many shapes and forms. Each human being is different. Despite the fact that we have standard physical appearances, we are different in so many ways.
Our dreams, desires, and purpose are different. My goals are not your goals unless we are working on something specific as a team. Bear this in mind next time you doubt your parenting self. It’s time to let go of any guilt or shame you feel over how your parent.
Many tools are available to help steer our perspective in the right direction when you find yourself drifting towards guilt or shame. Some simple ones are:
1. Watch Younger Kids
If you have young kids, watch how carefree they are. Children are psychologically free. They don’t have the responsibilities we have. But we can still learn from them. They can also give us a reason to laugh.
2. Regular take mental breaks
Take a step back sometimes. You can enhance your perspective by giving your life a quick overview. Remember that when you are in the forest all you see are trees. But look beyond the woods and you will see oceans and mountains as well.
Disengage for a brief moment.
3. Give your mind recess
At times when you take a step back, you can engage with tools that give your mind playtime. Tools such as journaling, adult coloring, and meditation can also give you a mental break from the feeling of overwhelm.
There’s no shame in parenting your child to the best of your abilities. Yes. There may be something we could have done in a different way. Or we may have made mistakes. At this point, so what? We learn from them and move on. Because there’s no universal parenting handbook.
Scriptures contain a wealth of encouragement for parents. The Bible provides many tips on how to be a successful solo mom. It’s not all about the “do’s and don’ts.” It’s not religion. It’s a handbook for how to live with joy.
Don’t let people’s bad behavior allow you to miss out on one of life's greatest personal development tools.
Train up a child in the way he should go. When he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
You have the innate ability to raise your children. There’s a reason they are yours. They were given to you, and only you are tasked with the ability to train them. Whatever resources you use in your training is up to you. But you will learn as you go.
Training up a child is parenting. Even if you never knew about this verse or don’t even know about the Bible.
Our intuition as parents guides us on how to protect and care for our young. So don’t let anyone or anything shame you. You did well. You didn’t let anyone hinder you from raising your child how he or she should grow.
Use the Golden Rule when in doubt.
Do to others as you would have them do to you”. Matthew 7:12
Even though we instinctively and intuitively care for our children. Keeping this “rule” in mind can go a long way in helping you navigate some of the difficulties you face in your family.
This rule will help you develop empathy when you are faced with challenges brought on by your child's bad behavior. It will help you to show grace.
Finally, remember that you are never alone.
“The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can mortals do to me?”. Hebrews 13:6
When my two younger sons were around 3 and 5, a young student from the local high school came into our lives. She would take them to her home and babysit them. She wouldn’t accept money from me, yet she would take them sometimes for an entire day.
My kids would come back, ready for a nap. They seem happy and contented and loved the young girl. She was not a total stranger as I knew her mom, who raised her solo.
I used the time when the kids were gone to catch up on chores, and more often, sleep. I didn’t seek out this young woman, but she gave her time at the moment in my life when I was overwhelmed and felt alone.
When I look back at those times, I realize I wasn’t alone. Someone was making sure my needs were being met. Even if I didn’t recognize it at the time.
You are never alone when you are raising children. Help comes from many directions. But there is one Source that will always make sure you get what you need to raise your children.
Abandoned and alone with her infant son, Hagar probably felt worthless and unworthy. But God sought her out and offered to help her. She also recognized that God “saw” her.
There’s no reason to live with guilt or shame. Because God does not condemn you.
“But he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. 2 Corinthian 12:9
And that He is…
“A father to the fatherless; a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling”. Psalm 68:5
I welcome your comments. Thanks.