Do you believe these parenting lies?
"Liar, liar, pants on fire."
It may be a childhood taunt, but are your (adult) pants on fire? You probably impress the importance of honesty in your children, but caregivers are notorious for telling and believing lies themselves.
These lies seem to creep up you when feel alone or unequipped to deal with the tough parts of raising kids. And there are plenty of tough parts.
Here are a few common lies that you may tell yourself - and the truth behind them:
I'm a terrible parent.
There are days you will feel totally overwhelmed and under equipped to parent your kids. That's normal. There are days you will feel like everything went wrong. That's normal.
But the truth is that there are no perfect parents - including you. Every day, you get up and do your best. Every day, you put one step in front of the other. Every day, you make mistakes. And every day, you celebrate the wins.
Related: Dirty little parenting secrets
Everyone has it easier than I do.
You look at your Facebook stream and see beautiful families, homes and vacation photos. Your friends' children always look clean, well-pressed, and well-behaved.
Facebook is lying to you. Because you are only seeing the highlight reel in the lives of others.
And you are also lying to yourself if you ever believe that everyone else has it easier than you do. The truth is that everyone has hard seasons. And just because the bright and glittery photos on social media indicate that life is perfection doesn't mean that it's true.
Instead of focusing on how much easier life is for those around you, remember that everyone has something they are dealing with. Things that no one could ever know. Including you.
Related: Facebook vs. real life
It can be lonely to be a parent. You spend so much time and energy on your kids that you can feel too empty to build connections with others.
And it can be easy to feel isolated when you are dealing with your own issues with your own family.
But the truth is that you aren't alone. There are others who have gone through this before you. And there are others who you could connect with to support you through this.
If you feel alone, it's time to build your parenting tribe and connect with others. It sounds overwhelming, but it's worth every bit of effort it takes to realize that there are others who do understand.
Related: Find your parenting tribe
I don't have time for myself.
Parents are busy. From infancy to adolescence to adulthood, being a caregiver is a huge job that takes time, energy and loads of heart.
But don't let this become an excuse for ignoring your own needs. There are few things that are more important than self-care for parents. You have to take care of your own needs to be able to attend to the needs of your kids.
That means you need to take care of your health, your friendships, your passions and your romantic relationships. In the end, this makes you the best parent you can be.
As a parent, there's a good chance you have believed one of these lies in the past.
But the next time your pants are on fire, try to remember the truth. You may not be perfect, but no one is. And the more you learn and grow, the better caregiver you will become.
That knowledge can stop any of these lies in their tracks.