If you’re worried that you’re a terrible parent and you’re going to mess up your kids, I’ve got good news for you.
1. You’re not a terrible parent
2. You are going to mess up your kids.
First, if you are the kind of parent that is dwelling on and thinking about your parenting skills, you are definitely not a terrible parent. You may not be the greatest human parent ever, but who is? You’re in the fight, and you’re not giving up.
Secondly, you are going to mess up your kids, at least a little. You can’t help it and neither can I. And why is that good news? Because now you are free to stop worrying about it and spend that energy enjoying your little people. Give yourself the grace to be human. You are not giving up, you’re just acknowledging that we’re all deeply flawed people, parents and kids alike. I consider myself to be a relatively mature and competent dad, and I think and pray about how I talk to, discipline, and love on my kids. But I would be nuts to think I’m not going to saddle them with at least some kind of dysfunction or issue that they’ll have to address in their 30s.
And I’m not kidding about that being good news. It will help you apologize when you’re in the wrong because you aren’t trying to pretend you’re flawless. Think of it this way; by acknowledging that you’re going to mess up, you’re actually engaging with grace and modeling what that looks like. Next to unconditional love, that could be the greatest give you give them.