Parenting is messy. Not just physically and around the house but it just really can mess with your mind. All your past thoughts on parenting, who you thought you were, how you were raised, and your beliefs about your upbringing, and of course the MASSIVE amount of information hurled at us every stinking day through social media, gets carried on through you, to the present. Subsequently drives you further away from being present, trusting your instincts, like really really listening to your heart in regards to parenting.
For me, studying Early Childhood Education adds another element to the messiness. While I have this intellectual information about Child Development and the expertise and experience of sharing, teaching, observing, facilitating and living my life with this connection, I still fall down the messy sinkhole of parenting my own two.
Parenting (sometimes) has been such a huge challenge for me, nothing at all how I expected it to be…the good the bad and the ugly side…all…nothing how I imagined.
And my thought patterns have been very unkind and unforgiving for most of my parenting life.
I’ll preface this first with; I need you to know I recognize and see all the true beauty from my children. Love, admire and would go to the ends of the earth for them….
However…..as with some families (I trust…no…just me?) there are some really shit, challenging, soul crushing events, times, fleeting moments with the children that quite frankly have made me want to ‘fly the coop’ and never come back. Of coarse that does not happen, if only in my mind, but that’s my feeling.
Back to the thought patterns.
As an example, my son who sometimes has trouble regulating his feelings and emotions (all part of his triple ADHD/Anxiety/LD diagnosis) can say, do and be extremely hurtful and destructive …in the moment. Often times they are directed at me. For years I would react to everything he said, and did…mirroring sometimes his behaviour…because I was so appalled and hurt, embraced and ashamed….and made it about him ‘attacking me’, which of course only prolonged the episode…prolonged the hurt and prolonged us from getting to the root of his outburst and the truth behind his emotions.
My thoughts during and after an ‘episode’ would be:
“I am such a failure at parenting.”
“Parenting is too hard”
“I am not good at being a mom”
“How am I so bad at this”
“My son must really hate me”
“Nothing I do is right”
Honestly the list is long, sad and has been on repeat for far too long.
ANYWAY. sigh. Good news:
My most recent, and most amazing revelation about parenting came to light shortly after my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training began in January 2015. The first 40 hours of class is The Soul of The Teacher training…what that means is we need to get real about our shit…acknowledge, deal and work through it so we can be present for when our students are in practice.
So through one of these kriyas my thoughts popped up like a 3D movie:
“You are sooooo wrong about yourself as a parent. You are a great parent. Your children will NEVER be able to say:
“ My Mom was never there for me.”
“ I never really knew if my mom loved me”
“ My mom never hugged or kissed me”
“ My mom never supported me”
“ My mom doesn’t get me”
“ My mom didn’t try”
“ My Mom never relished in our uniqueness”
“ My mom was never proud of us”
“ My mom didn’t get help for me”
“ My mom didn’t care about our health and nutrition”.
Never ever ever in the history of history will MY kids be able to say ANY of those things.
And wow oh wow did I ever feel the biggest sense of release and relief after hearing this amazing truth and finally gave myself permission to let that shit go. My vibes were so high after this revelation I felt as though I was walking around like a peacock with the brightest plumage.
Shortly after this revelation I got to test out my new beliefs…because as you know….some fires never fully go out…a ‘big emotions event’ took place….I was able to ‘be there’ for him, while he felt his feelings….recognized it has nothing to do with me….wait for the fire to simmer….then put it out with time, patience, understanding and acceptance. And I have since afforded myself the luxury of those same gifts…time, patience, understanding and acceptance.
Being the CALM one magiCALMess at a time