I think we sometimes forget that all of us parents are in the same boat. Though we may feel like we are drifting around in our own little canoes, passing each other by, waving each other along…. or in some cases a large ships in the midst of raging storms and a tumultuous sea. But here’s what I have learned in the short (almost) 6 years I’ve been a mom.
Kindness is the key to parenting in a world where kindness rates a little lower than talent and power and meeting goals. It’s seen as a privilege rather than a necessity. It is something we may have the pleasure of enjoying maybe, just maybe if we check all the boxes for our days, years, and lives.
But, we’ve got the recipe wrong. Kindness should be first rather than last. It should be the foundation we fit everything else around – not vice versa.
We have all read the blogs, posts, and articles about being kind to other parents, and I completely agree. However, I want to touch on something that pulls on my heart consistently throughout the day.
Kindness to our children.
My oldest and I butt heads – alot. We are very much alike, but there are two major areas we differ in.
- He is the MOST morning person I have ever met. (Like think Olaf with three espressos and about 5 pixi sticks)
- FOMO vs. FOGO (My son for sure has Fear of Missing Out, while I, on the other hand am the opposite with the Fear of Going Out)
These differences paired with the daily challenges of parenting three children, can, if I am being honest, make me a very grumpy person (also short-tempered, rage, sarcastic, annoyed…yeah all my most attractive qualities) I noticed this in myself and started spiralling thinking about all the words I must have used in the past 5 years with the wrong tone, intention, and timing. So, I decided to make a change. My husband ‘s words are my biggest reminder – “I hope today has a good you”.
Big Picture – this all can seem very intimidating. But, here are my simple, practical steps
Do something for you
- For me this looks like a shower or washing my face first thing in the morning
Do something to get your blood flowing
- Lately I have been doing a quick pick up of the babies’ rooms. This gives my body the movement it needs to wake up PLUS it makes me feel like I at least accomplished one thing before the day starts to fast-forward out of control.
Do something that is humbling, yet rewarding
- Here is where mom life begins. For me, this is breakfast-time. I am trying to see it as a privilege. It is hard sometimes, but remembering that I am literally the most sought after person in their world, I get to be the first person they see, rely on, and fully trust; this is something special.
Do it all with a sense of humor while praying the whole way
- I am by no means a touchy feely person, but my kiddos get so much joy from a simple hug, a playful tickle, or a weekend wrestling match with daddy. I think it makes them feel seen and wanted – like their presence is something we couldn’t do without.
- It may seem silly to some, but I had really been noticing high tension between my son and I. It was almost unrealistic considering he is 5 and I am 28. So, standing next to the coffee pot one day, I prayed. I prayed against bitterness, resentfulness, annoyance, and any other feeling I knew could not be from our Heavenly Father. And guess what? I felt peace, and now I cling to that moment and walking with my God instead of running ahead and calling back for help.