No one is perfect, including parents. I, for one, have to tell myself on a pretty consistent basis that not only is it normal to make a mistake, there are reasons why making a parenting mistake is a good thing. I know that's a difficult concept to completely wrap your mind around (or, at least it is for me), especially when a tiny, innocent human life depends on you, but that bit of information has saved my sanity on more than one occasion.
The silver lining of any screw up is the undeniable fact that mistakes are teaching moments. I have learned so much more from the actual practice of parenting than I could from reading about it in books. Of course, the learning process has turned out to be more of a trial and error type-situation. I have two totally different kids, who never respond the same way to me, so learning what works for one and what works for the other has been a one step forward, two steps back dance riddled with mistakes and mishaps and screw ups. In other words, in the eight years since becoming a parent, I could write volumes on what not to do, as a parent.
The truth is, every mom makes mistakes, and the best way to deal with those inevitable missteps is to learn from them, adapt because of them and quickly put them behind you. Trust me: I tried the thing where I beat myself up and continuously sulk and constantly think about a parenting mistake I have made. There’s nothing positive or constructive to be gained by that approach. Instead, parents the world over should embrace parenting mistakes as part of the packaged parenting deal. It will (I promise) make the joy of occasionally getting it right that much sweeter.
So, with that in mind, here are five reasons why messing up as a parent is actually a good thing: