Earlier in the year, I signed up for an ocean swim. In the week leading up to it, I was doubting whether or not I’d done enough training. Then, when I was in the middle of the swim, I motivated myself by remembering the hours I had spent in the water. That’s what helped me to just keep swimming (that, and the Dory inside my head), remembering all the training I had in the bank. It gave me confidence.
It’s the same with parenting. We can berate ourselves for our failings way too often. We can remind ourselves over and over again of the requests that we denied our children, the books we didn’t read – all the times we said no to their pleadings. The list of failings we hold in our head can feel infinite. We forget to focus on the things that we actually have done.