Self forgiveness is the hardest part of being a parent. I try to start each day with the right mindset – to be my best, kindest, most loving self. My feet hit my bedroom floor and as my morning sleepiness wears off, so does my patience. It hangs on through the first batch of “nos” and sibling disputes. But as the parental waters start to experience storm waves and sea squalls of disobedience, I find it harder and harder to navigate. To quote a friend, I’m “treading water” in a sea of uncertainty and the waves start to knock me down. Instead of being my best self, it’s every man (or woman, in this case) for themselves! My mantra meets the reality of time outs, cool downs in rooms and loss of privileges. Raising kids is hard! Some days are just harder than others, and if you’re a parent, you’ve been there and know what I mean. Bad days can really ruin our self image and parenting morale. The secret though, is forgiving yourself. This is also hard to do because if you’re like me, you have high expectations for yourself. But we must learn to be gentler and kinder to OURSELVES! So, if you’ve had one of those days, take a deep breathe and try to forgive yourself. Know that I’m right there with you, and will be back at sea tomorrow, hopefully better equipped to handle whatever weather finds me.