Consciousness is making me extremely aware of dueling emotions I have as a parent today.
On one hand, I'm thrilled that, for the most part, my relationship with my kid is back to "normal." I define that as limited arguments; a really loving, close relationship. After what felt like an eternity, I'm beyond ecstatic to find us back in this space.
On the other hand, I feel guilty as hell. I know of others who are struggling with myriad issues, whether it be with their kids, themselves, a family dynamic, etc.
Parenting can be brutal. This is not a one-size-fits-all gig. We question and doubt our efforts so often that many times we are convinced we suck. We worry about how we respond to our kid's behavior. We get frustrated by the interactions between siblings, cousins, friends where we're being triggered somehow, or simply challenged because we just don't know how to handle things.
What parent hasn't been in a significant space of challenge? Although my gig is great right now, it's not like that all the time. If you've followed my posts lately at all, you'll know that I, too, have had a great many struggles.
I want to somehow share my contentment, like one would share bread. I want to break my contentment into pieces in order to give it to others that are seeking to find it.
While I know I can't share my contentment, I can empathize with others and provide my non-judgmental ear. Parenting is not for the faint at heart. It takes courage to keep showing up, day after day, to do our best.
In lieu of sharing my contentment, I'd like to humbly offer some thoughts that will hopefully resonate with those that need/want it:
- Parenting is a journey, NOT a destination. Take things one moment at a time...not even one day at a time, but one moment at a time. Do your best in that moment. Yes. Some encounters will not go as well as others, while other times you will nail it! For the not-great or less-than-stellar moments, at least you will have learned what pitfall(s) to avoid next time.
- Be forgiving of yourself. Think of all the times you've forgiven your kids for their meltdowns, poor behavior, etc. They're not the only ones allowed to grow and learn here. We learn from our kids just as much as they learn from us, provided we're open to it.
- Be conscious. If you and/or your family are in a deep sense of struggle, please trust that your efforts to right things will see the light of day. If you are conscious of how you show up and conscious of your children's behavior, I honestly believe reasonable resolution is coming. It just may take more time than you'd like.
Here's wishing us all a sense of parenting contentment, from time to time...
Be open to what comes.