Friday, August 13, 2010
Will it matter a year from now?
Someone once asked (well, a lot of someone’s, who haven’t had the pleasure of having lived through the parenting experience..yet) “how do you do it? I couldn’t imagine toughing it out with kids for more than 5 minutes, and you do it all day long”. And to be honest, there are days when I can say…I have no clue really because it’s definitely NO walk in the park. Though parenting, esp being a stay at home parent and doing the parenting thing all day long, involves a multitude of different inherent, learned and fly off the seat of your pants skills. You have to venture to your creative side, allow yourself to be optimistic and curious about the world and it’s fascinations. To be patient even when it seems impossible, do LOTS of deep breathing, to have a sense of humor, to be able to step outside of your grown up shoes and remember what it was like to walk barefoot around the mud puddles of the world. It’s a tough job to be a kid; experiencing new, exciting and challenging situations that will eventually, given time and direction, teach you to become a resourceful, respectful, compassionate driven adult. It’s hard to be little, to constantly make mistakes (goodness knows I make my share of mistakes as an adult, often) and there’s always something to be learned from those mistakes which may or may not prevent you from making that same mistake a time or two again. It’s a tough realization and in a world of constant misfortunes, it’s hard to gain the confidence to venture out into the world and want to take chances, to step outside of your comfort zone and leap toward your dreams or for your cup of milk that always seems to end up spilled all over the sides of the breakfast bar, on the bar stools and the kitchen floor, on the blankie that needs to be washed again (much to your broken hearted dismay, to have to wait out that 1.5hrs until it’s finished and then to have it back NOT having that special drooled on, spilled on, peed on, dragged all over creation and back again, smell). So parenting and being parented is a companionship. There has to be understanding, in order for it to work harmoniously, you have to have the right amount of “kid” to the right amount of “parent”, metaphorically speaking. In order to grow as a parent, reaching toward a higher/wiser level of adulthood…you need to be able to see all sides and appreciate them for what they are worth . In a sense, revert back to your childhood and learn to remember that appreciation for the little things; to be able to take comfort in reaching outside of your comfort zone, with confidence and learning from your experiences. In a world of chaos and perpetual busy-ness, it’s crucial to take a look with open eyes at those situations that cause you stress and panic ( a child potty training frantically peeing on the floor, a 5yr old seeking independence pouring milk into his own bowl of cereal and spilling the entire gallon on the floor, a tantrum over a snickers bar in the checkout lane at the grocer, sibling quarrels over who gets the flower plate or the red cup). And as much as this will drive you up and down each wall of your house, and you’ll want to fight every one of these battles with your child, you have to stop and ask yourself…what ‘s the lesson? what’s to be learned? will this be significant in the history of my child’s life? detrimental to his/her (or someone elses) health/safety? Will it matter a year from now??? If not, chances are, you can take that deep breath (and teach your child a little about the importance of deep breathing), reassure your child (and yourself) that no panic is necessary, be creative in using the situation as a learning experience, a chance to teach your child a bit about the world and then move on.