From the early days of diapers to the challenges of raising a teen, there’s no doubt that parenting is hard work. And, while there are plenty of positive phrases available to help boost your kids’ self-confidence, it’s the self-care ideas for parents that sometimes take a back seat. To help you keep your own tank full, we found a few words of encouragement parent needs to hear on the regular. Keep reading to see them all.

You don't need to be a perfect parent to be a good parent.

Whoever wrote "practice makes perfect" most certainly wasn't a parent. According to Tamsen Firestone, writer of "Daring to Love" and editor-in-chief of PsychAlive.org, says there's no such thing as being a perfect parent. But you can be a good parent, even when you feel like life is far from perfect. If your kids' needs are being met, if they have clothes, food, love and attention, chances are, you're a good parent.

Even if they don't say it, your kids love you.

It's hard to believe you're a great parent when your kids are constantly crying about having to eat their veggies or when they're angry that you shut down screen time. Even though those moments are tough, know that your kids really do love you. They'll get over their frustration, but they'll never get over their love for you.

You will fall apart, and do it all wrong. Forgive yourself.

Parenting is a daily struggle in trying to do your best, for yourself and your kiddos. Don't expect the days to be filled with wins. In fact, writer Beth Woolsey points out that showing your kids how to keep going after getting it wrong is a wonderful gift of resiliency to give.

You can’t take care of your kids unless you take care of you first.

The safety instructions on an airplane always say that, in the event of an emergency, make sure to secure your own oxygen mask before putting one on your kids. That same idea applies in life. Every mom and dad wants their kiddos to be safe, but if you're not taking care of yourself, you'll never truly provide emotional support for them. Practice self-care by taking an hour to enjoy a bath or going out with friends. Make sure you never run out of oxygen as you parent.

It’s okay to not be madly in love with your children 24/7

It's tough when you're constantly bombarded with images on social media of the "perfect parents." But those images are not always real, and it's okay to not feel madly in love with (heck, even like) your kids on a minute-by-minute basis. Don't let social media make you feel like you're less of a parent because you're not publicly showcasing a family that's constantly madly in love.

You’re doing a great job.

Every parent has that day when it feels like you've failed at everything. Sometimes the best thing to hear is that you're doing a great job, despite the fact that it may not seem that way. At the end of the day, parents can only do their best. Do your best; it will be enough.

You don’t have to do it all. It's okay to ask for help.

Give yourself a break, and stop trying to do it all. Ask for help or use a service to help make your days easier. Do you feel like you never have time to grocery shop? Use Instacart or the online ordering and pick-up services that so many stores now offer. If cleaning your house takes too much time with little ones, hire a cleaning service to help once a month. Super parents don't exist—get help to make you the best parent you can be.

It's about quality, not quantity.

You don't need to spend every moment of the day with your kids so they know you love them. Make the time to engage in quality experiences. According to the Journal of Marriage and Family, things as simple as take time to read a book together before bed, or going for a family walk together, will matter more than spending all day, every day, with your kids.

Let go of the little things.

We've all been there. The moment when you yet again find yourself engaged in a battle of wills with your kid. Sometimes it's tough to let go of the "little things," but when you find yourself stressed out and constantly battling with your little ones, maybe it's time to take a step back and focus on what will make your life easier. This doesn't mean you're a bad parent; it means you're choosing to focus on the bigger issues. 

The household chores can wait.

That expression about "time moving so fast" is true. Your kids will only be young for a short time. Leave the dishes in the sink. Wait another day to mow the lawn. Instead, play with your little ones. It’ll be good for all of you. You won't remember the dishes, but you'll remember those moments together.

—Leah R. Singer

 

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