You Are Not a Bad Parent
When you find out you are going to be a parent, a million thoughts rush through your head. Once your little bundle of joy is here, it can feel like the entire weight of the world is suddenly on your shoulders. For whatever reason, you might feel like you are not a good parent. The stress of parenthood cannot be emphasized enough, but regardless, you are doing just fine.
It's Normal to Forget Things
First things first: you are going to forget things you never thought you would, especially if you have a newborn. You might take your new baby for a walk in the stroller and forget to strap her in, but there are ways to work through it. If your forgetfulness is causing problems and you're worried about leaving your child in the car, for example, put an important item next to them in the backseat like your purse or phone. You might forget to change the changing table pad cover until a few hours have passed after a diaper fiasco. This forgetfulness is compounded if you have multiple children and are working. Try to take it one day at a time and get as much sleep as possible. If you have a new baby at home, sleep when they sleep. Try to be gentle on yourself because you are learning how to take care of a brand-new human, and it is not easy.
Remember to Take Time for You
Being a parent is truly one of the hardest jobs on earth. You are responsible for an entire life - on top of your own. The days are long, and the nights tend to be even longer. Taking time for yourself can help you maintain sanity and a sense of self. Remember to take a nice, hot shower. Brush your teeth every morning and each evening. Have coffee with a friend, or stop at a drive-thru and treat yourself to a meal you don't have to cook. Doing little things for yourself can make a huge difference in morale, and you deserve the boost.
You Are Enough
Remember that there is no such thing as the perfect parent. The images you see on social media are projections of what people want you to see. In truth, your children want what you want: to be loved, to feel safe and to have their basic needs met. The fact that you are concerned about not being enough means you are on the right track. Loving your children and doing whatever you need to do to ensure they are taken care of is enough.
Parenting is no walk in the park. It is a journey worth taking, though. Even though it might seem hard at times and you might feel as if you are not the right person for the job, it will get easier.
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