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I Pay for My Parenting Mistakes in Kisses, Squeezes, and Cuddles

image source: thinkstock
image source: thinkstock

I don’t always get this parenting thing right. I’ll be the first to admit it. I make mistakes every single day, sometimes teeny, tiny ones that no one else would notice, and sometimes pretty big ones.

Sometimes I yell when I should control myself, sometimes I throw things in frustration, and sometimes I take my misplaced stress out on my husband. Sometimes I let my son watch too much TV, sometimes I’m too lazy to make him eat a snack at the table, and sometimes I choose a path simply because it’s easier than the alternative. Sometimes my mistakes are insignificant and other times they’re not really mistakes at all. On occasion I just get things completely wrong and have to backtrack to set things on the right course. Other times I completely and totally blow it, and it’s only by a stroke of luck that everything turns out OK. And then there’s everything else that falls somewhere in the middle.

I have no way of knowing with absolute certainty whether the parenting choices I’m making today are the right ones or the wrongs ones. I don’t know whether the approach I take now is the one that will work forever, or even if it’s the one that will help my son grow up to be the best man possible. I don’t know if the methods I use to teach him are the ones that will help him learn the most, and I don’t know if the discipline strategies I use are the most effective in the long run. I could be getting every single bit of it wrong. But what I do know, is in the middle of all that uncertainty and unfamiliarity, amidst that vast realm of the unknown, I do know, with complete confidence, there’s one thing I’m getting right.

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Every single day I go above and beyond to physically connect with my son. I wrap him in hugs the moment he wakes. I smother him in kisses all day long. I rub his head and caress his curls. I squeeze his little hand with encouragement and stroke his palm with love. I hold his hand whenever he’ll let me and pull him into my lap whenever he’s sitting near me. I kiss his squishy cheek, and I tap the tip of his nose with affection. I sneak in a squeeze of his knees while he swings and rub his back while we chat. I nestle his head beneath my chin as we read books, and I always sneak back into his room for a kiss and a pat before I head to bed myself. The days that he continues to put up with this are short-lived, but for the moment, I snatch up any chance I have to connect with him through touch. I may not be able to say or do the right things, but I’ll never mess up with a hug or snuggle. He may push this affection away one day, but he’ll always know it’s there if he needs it.

I hope somehow, even if I can’t get the words or the strategies or the philosophies right, that I’m still instilling a sense of love, confidence, and character. I hope I’m teaching him to express his emotions, to be empathetic, caring, and loving. I hope I’m providing him with a sense of security and familiarity, the positivity of affection. I hope that, above all, in some way I’m making up for my mistakes with something greater.

I’m an adult and I still have a need for touch, personal contact, and a sense of love and caring. I know a hug can do wonders for a bad day beyond that of simply words. I know touch can calm me down when I’m frustrated and put me at ease when I’m stressed. Until my son decides he’s too cool for mom, I make it a priority to snuggle, cuddle, hug, and kiss him until he knows without certainty that he is always and will always be loved. I hope years down the road, it’s this sense of security he gets from his family that stays with him, not any of the giant or minuscule mistakes we make along the way.

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Article Posted 5 years Ago

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