It's a given that to care for other humans doctors must go through years of school. Years of residency. Years of tests. Years of practice. But when it comes to caring for your own child? Well, there's no training course for that, as one mom reminded us on Twitter this week.
Yesterday, Alex Anderson, who also happens to be an anesthesiologist, shared a candid tweet, lamenting her lack of a formal education when it comes to parenting.
This is dramatic but honestly sleep issues with a child will push you to the edge. My two year old also completely rejects me when they are upset and my heart is completely decimated. There is no school for this. No residency. No years of experience to guide. I’m so bad at this.— Alex Anderson M.D. (@AlexAndersonMD) December 22, 2019
Anderson's tweet has been liked over 2.7K times and racked up a ton of responses from Twitter users who had the heartbroken mom's back.
Some parents reassured her that she's not alone.
There’s safety in numbers: NO ONE feels good at this. But we are all doing our best. Sometimes our best is just doing 25% better than our parents did. Be gentle. You’re wonderful.— Leonora Pitts (@leeleepitts) December 22, 2019
You aren’t bad at this at all. It’s SO hard. I relate so much to this. My twins always want “mama” when they’re upset and not “mommy” which is me. You’re right.. no guides or training and it’s so very difficult. You aren’t alone, friend! We are here for you 💜— chippy (@Potato_Chip) December 22, 2019
You didn’t read the manual? Oh yeah.. crap! There isn’t one, and kids never know we are just winging the hell of this parent thing most of the time. Just do your best and keep your heart open, that is all you can do. You are NOT a failure. #goodmom— Dr. John Webb MD, MBA (@JohnWebbMD) December 22, 2019
Others gave compassionate advice.
Advice l give parents:— Valerie Burke (@val_burke) December 22, 2019
1) don’t let your child’s emotions become yours;
2) approach every situation from a place of calm, love & patience;
3) each stage is only temporary so hang in there;
4) do what’s right for you & your child without worrying about judgement of others.
Sleep issues are really no joke. It makes everything worse. And it depletes your patience. You’re a good mama. The one thing that helped me was reading that kids, for the most part, aren’t giving parents a hard time, they are going through a hard time.— Helen Kim (@hlnkim) December 22, 2019
You aren’t bad at this. And at 2, children are such fickle little creatures, whose brains work in mysterious, mysterious ways. ❤️— Melissa Reed (@MelissaAReed) December 22, 2019
Ultimately, Anderson expressed her gratitude to "every single person" who had weighed in.
Thank you to every single person here. You really pulled me out of a place with all of this empathy, advice, and solidarity. You never know which ways the wind will blow on Twitter when vulnerable- But wow do people show up to lift parent struggles. Thank you for this community.— Alex Anderson M.D. (@AlexAndersonMD) December 23, 2019
Goes to show that there's always merit to sharing your struggles and reaching out for support. Other parents will show up.