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I am Ashamed of Myself

I worry that I’m messing everything up.

I’m not patient enough, not organized enough, not kind enough, and not disciplined enough.

My kids and husband know all of the ways that I fail, and I worry that someday they will blame me for how their lives turned out, and they will be right.

I worry about what my kids will remember. Will they remember the good times, or the times that I yelled? Will they remember the amazing school days, or the days we failed at homeschooling? Will they turn out to be hardworking, kind, successful adults, or grumpy, selfish, entitled brats?

I think all those thoughts about what I feed my kids, how we homeschool, and many more.

I see all of my shortcomings and worry that I’ll fail.

When I worry about failing, I feel ashamed, and I want to hide. I don’t want to be around myself or my kids. I retreat from my own life.

Shame feels terrible, so I try to escape it by getting on my phone, eating cookies, or watching a show. Sometimes I escape it by yelling at my kids. If I am angry with them for all of the things that they are doing “wrong” I don’t have to think about how I am failing.

Blaming is easier than responsibility.

Here’s the thing: my brain is normal. It is doing what most people’s brains are doing: trying to figure out if I am enough.

How do we know if a parent is enough?

Some parents are amazing. They do all the “right” things, and their kids still grow up to resent them, be selfish, lazy, or nonfunctioning.

Some parents are terrible, and most people would agree that they failed their kids, and yet their kids grow up to be kind, compassionate, hard working adults who are determined to leave the world a better place. They overcome their parent’s failure with determination to not repeat the negative cycle.

In these instances you could say the good parents failed and the bad parents were successful. It depends on how you look at it.

Doing all of the “right” things does not guarantee that your children will turn out the way you hoped, and doing all of the “wrong” things does not doom your children to a terrible life.

I can do all of the right things and my kids still get to choose their own path. I can do all of the wrong things and my kids could still turn out to be determined, successful, and committed to a better life.

So what makes a great parent?

We cannot answer that question with how the kids turn out.