“I think I’m screwing up my kids”… Am I failing this whole motherhood thing?

“I’m effin’ this whole motherhood thing up.”
“I take two steps forward and three steps back.”
“I think I’m screwing up my kids for life.”

300,000 parents surveyed and after more than a year of a global pandemic… this is #1 phrase heard from moms around the world.

The guilt.
The shame.
The fear that you are ruining your kids.

After working with moms in the trenches for the last eight years and having been one myself, there is one thing that I know for certain.
Moms are notorious for beating themselves up.
Allowing the weigh of the “shoulda coulda woulda’s” crush us, so that even when something does go well, we can’t even see it.

Research says You Don’t Have to Get Parenting Perfect…

What if I told you that, momma, not only are you NOT failing your kiddos but that science actually backs me up on this.
It’s true.

You only have to get parenting 70% of the time,
and then help yourself and your kids
make sense of the other 30%.

Even better, is that we’ve uncovered an in the moment plan you can use when the guilt, fear and shame starts to creep back in and you start to feel like a failure.
Because let’s be real, some random lady on the internet can tell you you aren’t failing and for a moment it might feel warm and fuzzy.
However, as soon as you walk away from this article and:

…this random lady’s belief in you will be lost in the wind.

Am I right?
If you’ve lived this cycle more times than you’d like to admit,

  • stick around,
  • watch the video below,
  • read through the tips
  • and know that you are not alone!

We got you.

Am I failing motherhood

Good News… Mom’s are failing more now than ever before…

Or at least that’s how they feel. One of the things that I see in our community, memberships, courses and coaching is this feeling of guilt.

This feeling of…

  • I’m not good enough,
  • I’m ruining my kid
  • and I should know better. I
  • should be better.
  • I should, I, I should. I should. I should. I should. I should.

Next, comes the loss of confidence and decision making, constantly second guessing:

  • what to do.
  • Not knowing how to respond.
  • Not knowing what to say

…because it feels like no matter what step you take, no matter what action you take, no matter which way you move, its just going to make things even worse.

Eventually, you completely shut down.

Am I failing motherhood

You Don’t Need Another Expert to Tell You How You SHOULD Parent

Here at Calm, the Chaos, we believe there is not one magic strategy that will make everything work. We also don’t believe in throwing spaghetti at the wall.

Instead we approach all of our parenting struggles with four key elements involved. Using these four elements as a framework, you can craft a plan for the particular stage of chaos you are in. None of this is just theory. In fact, I was able to discover this framework because I was in the trenches just like you.

I was dealing with my kiddo.
I was a sibling of a brother who was extremely explosive.
I struggled to fit in growing up.

And so over the years, I found ways to fit the pieces together. I found that the best research, the best strategies, and the basics of how humans work came down to these four things (also known as You-Cue).

  1. the parent (You),
  2. true connection and acceptance (Connect),
  3. a deep understanding of the root cause behind the challenging behaviors (Understand),
  4. and an out-of-the-box solution that empowers both the child and parent to problem solve and self regulate (Empower). 

Calm the Chaos Framework

What to do In the Moment When You Feel Like You are Failing Your Kids

In today’s video, I share how to apply these to those moments where you feel like you are failing your kids.

All right. So let’s talk about a plan for what you can do in the moment when you are feeling like a failure.

First… REPEAT AFTER ME: You are NOT a Failure

The first thing we have to do is we have to shift our mindset about feeling like a failure.

So repeat after me…

You are not failing your kids.

Let’s just say that you are not failing your kids.

I’m going to repeat that one more time.

You are not failing your kids!

You are not failing your kids no matter how much the world wants to tell you you are;

No matter how much the news tells you you’re bad;

No matter how much the stories that you read, the articles you read, the blog posts you read about.

Ignore all of that.

You are not failing your kids.

How do I know?

Well, you wouldn’t be here learning more about how to be a better parent.
You are trying to do the absolute best for your kids.

I want to let you in on a little secret.

Calm the Chaos Framework

My mom made a lot of mistakes.

My mom struggled with this feeling until the day she died. She constantly felt that she failed me, that she ruined me because of the choices she made. She ruined my brothers.

And here’s the thing. If you were to look at me, would you think that I am a failure? Would you describe me? What I do in this world? What I do for you? Would you describe that as a failure? Would you describe that as something my mom did wrong?

Would you say, you know what? I bet her mom failed her. I bet her mom ruined her.

No, I already know that. I already know that you wouldn’t say that because you wouldn’t be watching this.

So, just like my mom made massive mistakes.
You are going to make mistakes.
I am going to make mistakes.
However, we have to stop seeing those mistakes as a failure.

It doesn’t mean we’re failing our kids just because…

  • we are human and we get triggered and we yell.
  • we say the wrong thing.
  • We do the wrong thing.
  • We don’t have all of the education we need to provide for our kids.

Reread this section over and over! On repeat if needed.

Because here’s the thing.
I can give you all the strategies in the world.
I can teach you all about your kids’ behavior.
I can give you all the plans possible.
But if you continue to believe that you are a failure…

You’re going to carry that through every decision, every reaction, every interaction you have with your kids.

Photo of woman with text overlay about not comparing yourself as a parent to other parents

My mom took it to her grave and to the end of her life. She truly believed that she failed.

But I’m here to say…

She didn’t fail me.
She gave me her best.
She gave me everything she needed.
She gave me everything she could;  mistakes, flaws and all.

Now, if you’re unhappy with your reactions, you have to do something different about it. And that’s what the rest of this post is about… taking action.

Then… Reconnect After the Mistakes

If you slip up & make a mistake; if you…

  • yell
  • say something you shouldn’t
  • give empty threats
  • revert to old way parenting
  • lose your voice from yelling so hard
  • etc…

What to do after I yell

The key is to reconnect afterwards.

It’s important that you first not beat yourself up mentally.

And then after things have settled…

  • apologize,
  • share with your kids what happened & where it was coming from,
  • rephrase what you were trying to say but weren’t able to,
  • communicate with your kids in a different way
  • and find a time where you can talk to them about what’s happening,

Reconnection really can that simple.

Next…Understand Your Own Triggers

It’s important as parents that we not only try to understand what’s wrong or what’s under the surface of our kids, but we have to understand our own triggers.
We have to understand where our own behavior is coming from. So, we need to pay attention to the next time…

  • we snap.
  • we get set off
  • we say something that we regret.

Because the truth is..  You will make a mistake. Remember, you are human.
It is inevitable. You’re going to slip up.

Why am I yelling so much

Look for the pattern that’s behind your blow ups.

What can I learn from the things that are happening?

Take note of this and start saying, okay, I don’t like when I say this, I don’t like when I think this way.

I notice it happens when…

  • I feel unheard.
  • I feel like I have to repeat myself.
  • I’m scared my kids are going to not be accepted.
  • I’m reminded of my past trauma, whatever that is.
  • there’s a lot of noise around.

It is super important for you to recognize where that’s coming from. Now in our Calm the Chaos program and huddle membership, we go deep into helping you understand where your own triggers are coming from, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start right now.

The step you can do is start paying attention to when and where your own meltdown is happening.

And that really is it.
Being aware and having self-awareness of your own triggers and emotions is a powerful tool.

Finally… Empower Yourself with a Plan for Next Time

Now, the final step is empowerment. This is where you can make a plan about what to say, what to do once you’ve discovered this new trigger.

Once you’ve discovered this pattern of you losing your cool or not being the parent you want to be; now you ca make a plan for that.

So that next time it happens, you have a plan of exactly:

  • what to say,
  • where you’re going to retreat to, and
  • how you’re going to reconnect with your kids afterwards.

Explain this plan to your kids and discuss your ideas and thoughts behind the plan.

For example:

When it gets really loud in here, I feel….

When it is getting too loud, I will say…

And I will do …..

After things have calmed down, this is how we can reconnect.

I’m doing this because I don’t want to say or do things I regret.

Can you help me with this plan?

Rebecca’s new book, The Gift of a Happy Mother: Letting Go of Perfection and Embracing Everyday Joy.

Caution!!!  You’re not going to get it right the first time.

In fact, you’re not going to get it right the second or the third or the fourth time.

Or maybe you do hit a home run with the plan the first, second, third through 10th.

And then the 11th time you fail and you go back to square one.

Know that you and not going back to square. Instead, use all that learning for a tiny tweak. Then have the conversation with your kids about whatever took place, tweak your plan and go back in.

You can do this.
I know you can.

Your In the Moment Plan for When You Feel Like a Failure

So just to recap. Whenever you feel like…

  • you’re absolutely failing and you don’t know how to respond to your kids.
  • all you’re doing is adding fuel to the fire and ruining your kids and,
  • you are just completely doing everything wrong.

Remember these simple steps:

  1. SWAP….  I’m not ruining my kids. I’m learning. I’m human.
  2. RECONNECT… You slip up, you reconnect with them.
    After you validate that you messed up, you validate with them that this is not how they should allow others to treat them.
    But you know what? People are human. And this is what happens. And this is what I’m going to do differently.
  3. UNDERSTAND… Where is your blow up coming from. Figure out the pattern behind your own triggers?
    Why does this keep coming up over and over and over again?
    I promise you it’s not coming out of nowhere.
  4. EMPOWER… Create a plan for when you slip up again.
    What are you going to say?
    What are you going to do?
    What are you going to provide yourself instead of snapping at your kid. Instead, empower yourself with that plan.
    We all deserve that empowerment.

If this has been helpful, let me know, share with a friend because we thrive on feedback.

Moms, you are not failing your kids

All right, one last reminder…

You are not a failure.
You are exactly the mom that your kid needs.
with your flaws, your imperfections, and your mistakes.
Yes, even with all that, you are perfect.

Want more In the Moment Plans for Chaos Causing Behaviors or Struggles?

We got you covered. In our Meltdown Mastery Workshop, we will walk you through how to create your own individualized personalized in the moment plans to deal with the most common (and uncommon) tantrums, meltdowns, and outburst. This is what we do all day, every day in our huddle membership, is help people create in the moment plans for their biggest Chaos Causers so they can become problem solving partners with their kids. In this free workshop, you’ll discover:
  • What to say and do to help your child to quickly calm down using the 1:1:1 plan (help your child calm down fast without bribes, consequences, or yelling)
  • How to uncover what’s really behind the meltdown, tantrum, or outburst using the Behavior Funnel (you’ll know what’s causing it and how to end it quickly)
  • How to stay calm even as your child cries, hits, and screams at the top of their lungs using the Stop, Breathe, Anchor technique
Click here to sign up! 

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