Parenting has definitely been the most difficult and rewarding job I have had so far.
It has left me feeling depleted, exhausted, furious, overjoyed, loved, appreciated, humbled, and everything in between – and all of this can happen within minutes. My parenting journey has been messy, at some points downright ugly, – and vulnerable, goofy and beautiful.
Let me just start by saying we cannot avoid the ugly – it will happen.
May and June are challenging months for parents, so many things are going on in school; spirit day, class trips, sports, and weekend activities.
Welcome to June! I remember feeling as though I needed more hours in the day in May, congratulations you survived it.
Now prepare for summer.
I enjoyed the structure of the school year and being able to have my time to work and get things done around the house. (I did not enjoy making lunches that weren’t eaten and actually getting out the door for school, which was usually stressful.)
Once summer came, I thought I enjoyed that more, but the lack of schedule and downtime was hard for me. I was constantly trying to fill the time with fun things and I so wanted to enjoy the kids being home.
Summer felt like it was a free-for-all, our kids were not camp enthusiasts (I literally had to peel them off of me screaming and crying to get 3 hours of solo time). At some point, I cut my losses and limited the camps, and hired a sitter a few days a week.
Supermom would usually end up feeling shame by July because I secretly wished we had budgeted for overnight camps like so many people I knew. I wonder how many of us feel or have felt this way.
Know this … if you connect to this in any way, I see you, I feel you and I honor you.
I was afraid of boredom and my kids feeling bored. I felt like I needed to have something to keep them busy. This was my own struggle in parenting and I slowly came to understand that boredom is ok, (when you don’t fear it like the plague), you can become curious.
Curious is a wonderful quality.
I realized that if we allow our kids to endure various struggles, in the end, they will feel more competent.
They are now young adults, we continue to do so because this is what being human is all about – growing and becoming a better human. The one place I have grown is that I no longer want to fix them or their problems because in the end what ends up happening is that they feel less than and incapable of helping themselves.
I realize that the biggest gift I can give them is to let them make their own mistakes, figure out how to handle them, and reap the reward of doing their own work. No one benefits when we do the work for them. We just become more reliant and feel worthless.
Daring parents allow their children to fail and love them through it.
We do not shame them for their failures but ask them, what have you learned? What did this one teach you?
We allow them to be individuals vs, extensions of ourselves. What a pity we can’t live our own dreams through our offspring. 😉
We will have to make our own dreams happen and model for them what that looks like. There is no better teaching than this! Model every behavior you want them to have.
How did I learn these lessons?
Through mindfulness practices and letting go of worry.