I’m going to let you in on a little secret that most parents know, but few parents actually believe.

No parent is perfect. No mom is perfect. No dad is perfect.

Heaven knows I myself have a hard time believing it, even though it’s a simple concept, and even though I know it’s true.

Even the most patient, kind, open, honest, loving, genuine, and sincere parents have their off moments. They have their moments of doubt and uncertainty. They have their frustrations. They have days when their mental health isn’t at 100% or their hormones are out of whack. Every parent says things and then wishes to take it back. Every parent doesn’t say things they wish they would have. Every parent struggles to balance all of life in the healthiest way possible for each person in his or her family, and every parent messes up in the quest for that balance once in a while.

On top of all that, every parent has days when motivation to be a good parent is hard to come by. Every parent has days where they question their ability to carry on. Every parent has days when they feel like they’re scraping the bottom of the “want to be a parent at all” bucket.

Why? Because. Being a good parent takes a lot of effort and work. Being a good parent takes a lot of energy. For anybody. There are no exemptions.

It takes a lot of energy to always watch what comes out of our mouths.

It takes a lot of energy to always try and think about how everything we say will affect our children in the short term and in the long term.

It takes a lot of energy to always spend enough quality time with our kids.

It takes a lot of energy to always find ways to deal with problems in ways that don’t include anger.

It takes a lot of energy to never give our kids too much unhealthy food.

It takes a lot of energy to always set a proper example for our kids.

It takes a lot of energy to always make sure our faces light up when we see our kids.

It takes a lot of energy to always take interest in what our kids say.

It takes a lot of energy to never get annoyed at our children’s thousands of questions.

It takes a lot of energy to always treat our significant others nicely and with love in front of our kids.

It takes a lot of energy to never talk ill of others around our kids.

It takes a lot of energy to never lose our tempers.

It takes a lot of energy to always offer our children enough healthy touch.

It takes a lot of energy to always be there. It takes a lot of energy to never miss anything that’s important to our kids.

It takes a lot of energy to always leave work at work.

It takes a lot of energy to never neglect our kids while we waste time doing unimportant things.

It takes a lot of energy to never use the TV as a babysitter.

It takes a lot of energy to always protect our kids when they need protecting. It also takes a lot of energy to never protect our kids when withholding our protection will ultimately benefit them.