Recently, a mother sat on my couch singing the song of her people. Perhaps you’ve heard it? I’ll sing you the first verse.
“I’m a horrible mother and I fail my children every single day.
They’d probably be better off if I just let ____ do my job.
If I could only be like ____my kids wouldn’t be ____.
Some days I just want to give up.”
Is that your song, weary parent? Even if you’ve felt pretty confident about parenting before, there is nothing like raising a child who has been sexually assaulted on your watch to send you careening over the edge of guilt and shame.
And you know what? It’s absolutely okay to take responsibility for allowing someone to hurt your child. In fact, your child needs you to do that. And if you have a moment where you yell instead of reason, get emotional when you should be logical or choose selfishness before you choose your child, I’m okay with you feeling guilty, but then you need to apologize to your child and give yourself grace and move on. If you have abused your child, we’re done here. They do need someone else to parent them. Close the computer or shut down the browser on your phone and call for help. Now.
But I suspect you aren’t doing that. If you’re taking time to read articles on how to help your child heal and you see yourself as an active participant in that process, YOU are a superhero. YOU are the parent needed for them.
Because I’m about to let you in on a relieving truth. There is absolutely no way someone else out there is created better at parenting your child than you.
“But! But….. ___ is more organized. ___ is smarter. ____ has it together. I’m sure ____ didn’t do ____ last night.”
Yeah. So what. You’re human. You have moments. Your kids certainly have moments. But that’s not what makes you the parent created especially for them. It just means you’re a person, like the rest of us.
You know your child better than anyone, and you think that means you’re supposed to be something different for them than YOU? Poppycock! Everything you need to be the person who can take them through the fire, the flames, the fear and the pain is already built in. What you need to do is STOP trying to be someone else, already!
If you’re a straight and tidy, neat and orderly parent, keep doing it. Your child depends on that. It feels like home. Changing right now would only add stress. Yes, you probably do need to listen a bit harder to get past your rigidity, but you’ve already proven you can do that. I promise you! Think. Right now. Come up with an example. See? I told you! But remember, it’s the exception and not the rule. Your kid wants YOU right now.
If you’re a creative, crazy mess of a person who never makes meals at the same time and can’t keep to a schedule, your child depends on that also! If it’s tough to keep appointments and be on time, then make sure you have less pulling at you so you can make it to the appointments that are most meaningful. Take things off your plate that add to the chaos so you can have more time to think and process and remove the negative people from around you. But again, your child needs YOU and not a pretend you that’s as neat and orderly as a pin. They’d probably think it was a little scary, to tell you the truth. Parent them in the mess and the chaos. It’s who you are!
The answer to who does your child need to help them through this journey? Who is better equipped than anyone else on the planet? Who was in fact created for just this moment? YOU. Whether you’re a birth parent, grandparent, foster parent, adoptive parent or honorary parent, you were created for a time such as this.
This journey will refine you. You’ll gain perspective on what matters and lose people who don’t support you and your child. It’s what’s supposed to happen. You’re supposed to step out on the other side of these flames a better, healthier and even happier person than you were before the fire was lit. You’ll have a closer relationship with your child, too. Don’t listen to the voices who may tell you “You can’t” whether they’re from people who don’t support you now or voices left from when you were lied to in the past. I’m telling you YOU CAN! Do you hear me? YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN! In fact, YOU can do it better than anyone else. I’m going to tell you one last time (for today). YOU are a superhero, and I’m proud of you.
NOT Destroyed Mom