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The pressure of parenthood is heavy, so heavy that at times, it can be soul-crushing. Not to say that being a parent isn’t also extremely rewarding, it’s just that on many occasions I fear I am a failure.

During those days when no matter how hard I try, my child is screaming and crying and no matter what I do, I cannot seem to get her to calm down, I worry that I am doing something wrong. And then, there are days when I send her off with my best friend/babysitter, who returns her with a smile and exclaims “She is such a sweet girl. No trouble at all!”

Or the moments when we go somewhere, and she sits quietly with the other kids, while they throw their toys, yell, scream and argue with one another. The thing is, children do often act their best when they are with others.

The reason isn’t that they simply despise you. It’s because they feel comfortable enough to release their emotions around you. They know that you are their safe place, and it’s okay to be upset and to be human around you.

Toddler Tantrum

I used to think when I sent my daughter off with my mother, or with my best friend, and she acted perfectly for them, but not for me, that I was doing something wrong. “What are they doing that I am not?”

When in reality, the fact that my daughter can express her emotions, scream, cry, yell and throw the occasional tantrum is just the perfect example of how much my daughter realizes she can lean on me.

According to Crystal I. Lee, who spoke with Reader’s Digest, “Kids push boundaries, have meltdowns, and are so much worse around their parents because they feel safe and secure with their parents.”

Additionally, she explains, “You probably act more put together and formal around strangers because you’re not sure how they’ll react to you. But around your friends and family, you are your true authentic self and feel safe that they love you, even if you’re having an off day. Your kids are the same way!”