I often hear so many different labels about the way we parent. When I meet new parents, I can sense that they may wondering what I am about; what category I fit under; and if I am someone they can relate to and connect with. Sometimes, people are quick to define and judge me as a certain type of parent, only for them to be thrown off soon after.
The reality is, I don’t actually fit any one kind of stereotype, and nor do I really want to squeeze into anything. You can refer to me as combination of traits – all derived from my intuition – my Truth. I simply do whatever feels right to me, my family, my children and ultimately, our planet. Living from this space is liberating and powerful.
Where does that leave me? That I am perfectly, imperfect. No, I am not the best mom out there, and I no longer strive for perfection – I am simply a person that attempts to live from the heart, from my true self and while honoring that, I honor my loved ones. I will let myself down, and I will let down my family. There is nothing wrong with that. It is simply a part of life, and I am embracing it, so that I can continue to grow. I choose not to let guilt or fear steer me, because they will not take me where I would like to go. Instead, I acknowledge my feelings, know that they are present, and then choose to take action about whatever didn’t work out, so that I am creating a new way of being for myself in that arena.
So, as a human with feelings, and reactions – yes… I have lost my cool with my family (husband included). Haven’t we all?? In the past I used to feel horrible about it, and it even kept me up at nights. After much personal attunement and awareness, I have now chosen to simply notice what didn’t work well (like yelling at my little ones), and then apologize to them; let them know that I am aware of what happened by acknowledging what happened (like…”I know it must have not felt so good when I yelled that way”), and then restoring it by putting something in place for the next time.
How do you make amends after a mistake?
Of course, I have to share an experience to make this all clearer. Here goes….
A few mornings ago, the day just began in a very “off” sort of way. No one wanted to wake up, when we finally did, it took 30 minutes to put on clothing, and forget about washing up, breakfast, supplements and all else. We normally need to be out of the house in an hour. Well, an hour and a half later, we were still home. I was beginning to feel really agitated. By the time we were at the front door, my kids decided to pay mind to everything else except getting dressed. As I reached for my keys, I bumped my daughter’s head with my purse, she began complaining, my son decided to ask for his things over her voice, and all was just falling apart. To get to my point, by the time I was in the car, I had reached the end of my rope and began yelling at my daughter because she wasn’t buckled up in her seat. Both my children began telling me how I was the meanest mommy ever. On the road, after a few deep breaths, I placed my hand on my heart to shift my gears and see if there was any way to restore what just happened. It took a little longer than usual, but I did shift.
I acknowledged my behavior, and the kid’s feelings. I feel that is important to hold that space first. I also admitted that I am very capable of being mean, but it isn’t something that makes me feel good, and I apologized. I explained how I would like to have smoother mornings, by each of them taking on a few duties, to which they agreed. I also asked them if they could each come up with an idea of how to make things better for us in the morning, and they can tell me later if they’d like. When I asked them if they thought if all of our ideas would work, they replied yes, and they would very much like for these ideas to work.
I found that by reaching to them to contribute so that we work as a team to make our mornings better, really made them feel better and capable (even my 5 year old wanted in on team playing. And in case you’re wondering… 2 yr. olds can take on a small task too). We all felt like we were in it together, and suddenly…our morning was really pleasant.
Now, will this all play out as we planned? Well, I am committed to it, but I am not attached to the outcome. Who knows what will happen, but our intention is there and we will keep our fingers crossed. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes, and whether or not I blew another lid. This brings me back to my main point. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Surrender to just being yourself. Just be committed to doing the best you can, and if it all hits the fan… well, there’s always next time.