Voices Mom that feels like a bad parent and she has these feelings of not being enough. The other day I was coaching a group of mom’s that are living in a sober home. A mom spoke up who was constantly felt put down by her parents when she was young. They told her that she should be more like her brother. The athlete, star student, fancy dresser and social butterfly. She grew up feeling unworthy, unloved and used drugs and alcohol to cope with her depression and not feeling like she was enough. Then ran away at the age of 14 years old to live on the streets.
As her parenting journey evolved she found herself using the same tactics on her own children. She mentioned in one of our conversations that her 6 year old daughter was needy and her 8 year old son was rough around the edges. I repeated her words to her in the following conversation.
Coach Richie: “So you believe your daughter is needy and your son is rough around the edges.” She paused for a moment and said.
Mom: “Well not really. When you say it like that it sounds
like I am a bad parent.”
I explained to her that I was just restating the exact language she just used.
Coach Richie: “Was there a time in you felt needy or rough around the edges?” She paused and her eyes started to glaze over. Then a tear fell from her eye and rolled down her cheek as she spoke.
Mom: “Yes. I feel that way now in my correct situation and my substance challenges. My parents used very similar words when I was younger and now, I am using the same words to describe my children.”
Coach Richie: I asked,
“Are those words the truth?”
She wiped the tears from her eyes with an open hand as she sniffled and said “No. When I was a child, I just needed my parents love and attention. They failed at giving me this and I turned to friends and drugs to find comfort and love”
Then as she started to compose herself, I asked her.
Coach Richie: “How did you feel when your parents said these things to you, when all you needed was attention.”
Mom: Saying in a faint voice. “that they didn’t love me”.
Then I proceeded with the second question.
Coach Richie: “How do you think your children feel when you say they are needy and rough around the edges. After a minute more tears started falling from her heavy eyes.
Mom: “They feel as though I don’t love them and they are not enough”.
Coach Richie: “How does that make you feel?”
Mom: She paused and took a deep breath and cleared her throat. ” Like a bad mom”.
Then I want on to explain that we do the best we can as parents with the resources we have and the parents that raised us and taught us the best they could. There is no such thing as a bad parent. Only a parent that doesn’t know better. Because when we know better, we do better. That is all we can do.
Coach Richie: So, I asked her a final question. “What do you need to do better now that you know better?”
Mom: “I need to love my kids more and accept them for who they are and not burden them with my own fears and lack that I have in my life.
Coach Richie:” How do you think they will feel about that?
Mom: She said. “Hopefully good and she ended with a little smile.
Coach Richie: “And if they are not good, what can you do about that.”
Mom: “I can just keep trying to do better”
Having challenges in your life with life, parenting or relationships. If you are a parent you are not alone.
If this resonates with you and you need someone to help you explore your inner world and do some self-discovery. Please check out some of the resources below that may be able to help you on your parenting journey and expedition in life.
All my love and support.
Coach Richie xo
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