It’s the weirdest thing, co-parenting has become something people have to do perfectly.
Considering perfect doesn’t exist, when did perfect parenting become an expectation?
“Kids need the perfect parenting schedule.” “The perfect dietary food plan.” “The perfect school.” “The perfect doctor.” “The perfect outfit.” “The perfect hair-cut.”
The perfect hair cut? Uh, huh. It’s apparently a thing. (eye roll)
And because perfect doesn’t exist, you can never achieve it. Which provides your high conflict co-parent daily ammunition to not just criticize your parenting skills but berate them, at nauseam.
Deep down you know perfect parenting isn’t real, but in a continuous attempt to reduce the horrific ridicule, you have created a survival pattern of trying to be the perfect parent.
You try to say the right thing. Do the right thing. Plan the right thing.
You are on a continuous marry-go-round of trying to be perfect to stave off your co-parent’s attacks while quietly criticizing yourself for not being able to be more perfect.
Now both you and your co-parent are being mean to you?!?!?!
If you’re co-parenting with someone who is high conflict? Nothing you say/do/plan will be the right thing, the perfect thing.
You could give your co-parent everything they asked for, every last request, and they would still find something wrong with your parenting, (and your family, your friends, your job, you …. You get the point.)
You have created a survival pattern of striving for perfection in your parenting and when perfection isn’t reached (and it will never be reached), your own inner critic of yourself starts to validate your high conflict co-parents loud and relentless criticisms of your parenting.
And you start to doubt yourself and your parenting skills, believing if you could just do x, y or z perfectly that the conflict might subside. And each time that logic fails you, your disappointment in yourself for not being perfect escalates and your resentment towards your co-parent for forcing you to be perfect increases tenfold.
“Parenting isn’t doing. Parenting is presence. Mentally, physically and emotionally.” A.L.
But you’ve been brainwashed to believe you need to DO more, BE better, ACHIEVE greater, DISCIPLINE appropriately and SCHEDLULE perfectly in order to be the perfect parent. Your kids don’t need you to solve all their problems, they need you to teach them how to solve their own problems.
Kids don’t need you to protect them from uncomfortable feelings, they need you to love them unconditionally while they move through those uncomfortable feelings, without judgement.
Work towards a mindset of present parenting instead of perfect parenting.