Today I could use some reminders to self. So here goes:
- I can’t parent “wrong”. There are an infinite number of ways something could be done (and I can never know exactly what would be best for someone else because I don’t have their life, and heck — I rarely know in my own what would be “best” so my best guess for someone else is that — a guess). Sure, some things may turn out better than others. And if I try something and don’t like how I feel and/or the result? I can try something different.
- Pushing fails in the long run. When it feels like I have to push my kid to “make something happen” that is on my list or seems like a should do — and it’s push, push, push — my best bet is to quit pushing. Because if I’m feeling like I’m having to push? The method I’m trying isn’t working very well in the current situation. (My youngest is really helping me get this.)
- My kids aren’t (and don’t have) “problems” to be fixed. None of our kids do. (None of us do either!) They are themselves — human beings. They will have struggles, as we all do. But “problems”? No, unless I choose to see a situation that way. And when I choose to look through the “problem” lens? I’ll probably see more and more and more problems. Though if I look through the “yes, they will have struggles in life and things may need to be tweaked and at the most fundamental level, we’re all doing okay as human beings” lens? It’s a different ballgame, and things seem to go much better.
- The number one thing I can do to help my kids is to take care of myself. Yes, cliche. And I’m getting okay with that — because I’ve seen it’s true more times than I can count. It’s not about bubble baths and soft music as that’s not my thing. Rather, it’s about paying attention to how I’m feeling and choosing to focus on “feel good” as the energy I’m taking into any and all situations, to the best of my ability. (It’s not about trying to feel good as a result of something else. It’s a proactive choice on my end, regardless of whatever the outcome will be.) When I feel all spun up, irritable, tired, and annoyed, that’s the energy I start bringing to the table, and I become incapable of actually helping anyone. So recognizing when I’m heading down that path and nudging myself in a different direction? Useful.
- I am responsible for my own happiness. Not my husband nor my kids — me. And likewise, they are responsible for their own happiness. Keep your eyes in your own lane, Robin. It always works out better in the long run when you do.
- We get the kids we need to help us move forward. (We’ve all got healing and growing to do in adulthood — let’s just own it.) This is a current working theory that’s ringing true for me. What we see happening in the lives of our kids is a reflection of what we’ve got going on in our own. It’s our choice what we do with the info, and rather than focus on fixing something in their lives, I seem to better help both them and me when I focus on my own.