Monday, April 4, 2016

Parenting On the Bad Days

bad parent
Most days I don't focus on the fact that I'm a mom. I still feel like myself and go through the motions without much thought about the immense responsibility I now have in my life. But the days that things go totally sideways, the days where everything is shit... those are the days parenting really gets in your face. And it's fucking hard.

In the past I would either drown my sorrows in booze or have a pity party in order to cope with a bad day. Now, neither of those options are available to me because I have a child and need to be sober/engaging for them. Dammit!

I think for some people being a parent might actually make bad days better, purely out of distraction. You don't have time to wallow. You have little people to please and dinner to make. You have to keep moving because someone if relying on you, and it helps get through the tough times.

But for me, bad days makes the reality of parenting much more front and centre, because I can't use the coping mechanisms I've grown to know and love. They are the days that really hit me in the face. It's a double whammy, because I'm dealing with whatever thing is making the day bad in the first place, as well as the realization of being a parent on top of it. 

I guess the solution to getting through bad days when you are a parent is finding coping strategies that work. I fully realize getting wasted or listening to sad music while I cry into my pillow are not the best ways to deal with things I find difficult. But it is what I have done for 30 years, and old habits die hard.

In a sense, bad days define what I find to be the hardest part of being a parent; It's not the literal raising of the child that is tough. Rather, it's the changes in myself that need to be made in order to raise the child.

I guess even though bad days are hard, in the end they make me a better person. So there's that.

good mom bad day

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