An episode of the US drama, House, starring Hugh Laurie, really got me thinking recently.
In the episode ("Parents" season eight), Laurie's character made the statement that all parents f#ck their kids up, with no exception.
He later went on to explain that it's because, as parents you act with your heart and not your head.
I found this incredibly interesting.
Actions of the heart are normally associated with love, but actually this is only a part of the whole picture.
Any feelings that aren't premeditated, that involve emotion, can be seen to come from the heart, whether it's love, hate, anger, fear, passion or whatever.
This was illustrated well to me in another episode of the same drama when it portrayed a brilliant example of a psychopath female ("Remorse" season six).
An article I read by William Hirstein in Psycology Today, pointed to findings that the brains of psychopaths have weak connections among the components of the brain’s emotional systems. These disconnects are responsible for the psychopath’s inability to feel emotions deeply.
As parents, we are so easily judged by all around us. You probably find yourself doing it - looking at a stressed out mum shouting at her children as she struggles wearily to get on with what she's doing.
And then on a particularly bad day, which follows a night of little sleep, you find yourself doing the same thing and that's when the guilt sets in.
The thing is, it's easy to judge when we're thinking with our heads, but not so easy to control our feelings when we're thinking with our hearts.
That's why we need to forgive ourselves more. Because the majority of us are good mums and we would die to protect our children, shouty stress head or no shouty stress head.
And I'm glad I parent with my heart and not my head. Because it means that I love my children so deeply it hurts. I comfort them when they fall and cuddle them when they cry.
Yes, I might shout at them the odd time, when they're being particularly hard work, but that's what makes me human.
And that's just fine with me.