Imagine this: Meditative Mornings. Behaving Boys. Clean Cars. Hassle-free Homework. Completed Chores. Marvelous Mealtimes. Bubbly Baths. Smooth Sailing. And a Great Goodnight.
If you are anything like me, you beat yourself up on days when you don’t meet your “ideals.” As a mother, it is far too easy to get caught up in the world of comparison and to focus on what is not working, rather than focusing on what is working.
We forget we can make our own rules.
We forget to trust our intuition.
We forget we are always doing our best for the kids, and the best does not mean being perfect.
We forget we can leave behind our parents’ disciplinary styles and create our own.
We forget that parenting is a process, and we are learning as much as we are teaching.
So cut yourself some slack. Perfection is overrated.
When I look back on my 15 years of parenting, a few choice words come to mind: painful, exhilarating, rewarding, and life changing.
I spent many moments (unnecessarily) worrying about academics, health, relationships, extra-curricular activities, religion, puberty … the list is endless.
In retrospect, I can see all the times I doubted my intuition, only to be reminded repeatedly that it is ultimately my most powerful guiding force when it comes to any aspect of my life—especially parenting.
Do your research; speak to other parents; read; take in advice of professionals. But in the end, return to your gut. You know your child best. Do you remember an instance when you chose your intuition over well-intended professional, researched advice, only to realize how right you were?
My three growing boys are a handful. I had to get used to being present with them while I juggled the demands of work and my own interests.
I had to adjust to their rambunctious, adventurous natures, and their need for constant physical play.
I had to practice patience to meet the demands of so many different personalities.
I had to learn restraint when I dealt with their sibling rivalry (a biggie!).
I had to adjust to cooking for three hungry boys who eat like you wouldn’t believe—not to mention the enormous monthly grocery bills.
I was overwhelmed by their multiple agendas and schedules—organizational skills took on a whole different meaning.
I had to adapt to being a “football, basketball, or a soccer mom,” and I still struggle with this.
And, I was certainly not familiar with parenting a teenager (a completely different beast).
I, too, feel the common overwhelm that so many parents face. But guess what? I take comfort in the fact that my kids are my biggest teachers. As they grow, I grow, too.
Do you feel like that, too?
These days, I take time to filter out unhelpful advice, which only leaves me feeling inadequate.
I am learning to listen to my children, to take their lead. To trust THEIR intuition when it comes to their bodies and emotions.
I am learning to support them in their choices, even if I don’t always agree with them.
I am learning to remind them about the simple things in life, and not to get caught up in the rat race we have built for ourselves.
I am learning to allow my home to be their playground.
I am learning …
My boys are different. They are unique. No, they are NOT perfect. They never will be. They will make MANY mistakes. Like me, they are growing and learning. They will carve their own ways in this world. My role is to encourage them to grow into their best selves.
So, grow together with your little and not-so little ones. Flourish with the good and the bad, and ask yourself: Am I doing my best everyday?
Chances are, yes, you are. And that is perfectly enough.
Do you feel overwhelmed and unsure how to allow yourself to grow and adapt as a parent? You are not alone here. Support is so important to finding a clearer, more positive perspective. I believe I can help you. Why not set up a FREE call with me so we can talk about your biggest challenges? Click here.