The past few weeks have been tough in our household. Many tears have been shed, breakdowns have been had, and lots of stress has been hanging over our heads. Ever since I was a teenager, I have tried really hard to take times like these and figure out some things I’ve learned. When I was younger I would journal all of my ‘life lessons.’ Now, as an adult, I get to blog about them and maybe….just maybe….help someone else in the process.
Here are a few things I have learned about being a parent this week….
1) Nobody ever said parenting would be easy.
Yes, this seems like an obvious point but sometimes we really do forget this small bit of wisdom. Parenting is one of the hardest things to do in life and nobody says that lightly. It’s a 24 hour job that never ends and doesn’t come with vacation time. The smiles, the hugs and the joy is worth every single hour but the tough times can still be really, really tough.
2) It’s okay for me to get upset and angry….I just have to know my limit.
As parents sometimes we try so hard to not let our emotions show in front of our kids. However, I think this often back fires. My boys need to know when they have upset me and know when they have done something wrong. However, there is a fine balance and like anything else this can always go too far. With such an emotional past few weeks I have had to really learn my own personal limit and walk away when I start to get to the edge of losing control. It’s okay to walk away in the middle of a scene with the kids. It’s okay to go and hide in a corner and cry it out until I can think with a clear head and come up with a new angle. Screaming and carrying on isn’t productive nor is it teaching my sons good life lessons.
3) Choosing battles does actually work and can keep me and my husband sane.
The most beautiful thing I have learned as a parent is to ignore the little things so that I have the energy to deal with the bigger and more important issues that come up. Yes, it’s annoying when my kid doesn’t wear matching clothes or insists on wearing a costume out in public. However, at the end of the day this isn’t some life altering event and it really doesn’t matter. Besides, I could waste half the day struggling to get my son to change his clothes or I could just put them in the car and start my day. I choose the second option.
4) Kids are smart, intuitive and will share what’s bothering them when they are ready.
Often times I want to have answers right away. When I know something is bothering my boys I want them to share it with me so I can go and save the day. What I often forget is that my kids are people just like you and me. They hurt, they feel, they process and sometimes they need a chance to do all of these things before I get involved. I don’t care if you’re 3 or 33….life is complicated and emotions can be hard to deal with. As parents we never want our children to hurt but it’s a part of life. If we teach them that mommy will sweep in and save them all the time….we are setting them up for failure. To be a good parent I must allow my children, young or old, to deal with their emotions in a productive way, come up with solutions and be patient enough to let them come to me when they need me. Sometimes it takes me a few days to let out my heartaches so I should allow my kids to have that same amount of time.
5) The best parenting move really is a Big Hug, A Goodnight Kiss, and a whole lotta LOVE!!
No matter how far I’ve come as a mother or how many steps back I’ve taken this is the one truth I do know. I can never underestimate the power of affection. Kids don’t really care about toys, treats, or adventures. They really just crave attention, touch and love. At the end of the day, luckily, that’s the easiest thing to give.
Wishing you all peace and good lessons learned in your own parenting journey….