I had an epiphany recently.
My world is full of whining, not listening, yelling, and mean faces. I counter these behaviors as well as my patience can hold with calm counting, timeouts, distractions, deep breaths, and prayer. There are moments that I’m not together and yell…but my kids weren’t born with the perfect mother. We’re all still growing into our roles. Motherhood is a journey. I don’t have to be perfect all the time! I do, however, have to keep trying. That’s what good parenting is all about. Seeing what’s not working and fixing it.
My epiphany came at a time when I felt like giving up. I was the frazzled, yelling mother who for the thousandth time was not being listened to for some trivial request like “put your shoes away”. I decided to just let it go and pick L up for a hug before the nap time battle began. He put his hands on my cheeks and turned my face to look at him. While we were standing in the hallway between despair and frustration he said this:
I love you your whole life forever, Mom.
And I realized that I am L’s whole world. He learns nearly everything from me. Yes, he goes off to preschool for a couple hours a day and he has his siblings and Daddy, too, but I teach him A LOT, especially about parenting. As I’m writing this that seems like too much responsibility…but at the time it was a real eye opener. It made me wonder how I could ooze love all the time. Wouldn’t parenting with love at all times be the best? I’m not saying no discipline, just in every moment-even when telling your kiddos to go back to bed for the umpteenth time-parenting with love.