Parenting in the Highlight Reel
It may come as a shock to you (and I really hope it does), but I have a huge temper problem. My anger can sometimes overtake me as I slide into fight or flight mode quicker than you can say “zen”.
Suddenly, my child appears the enemy. My thoughts go wild… “I will show him who’s boss.” “I will overpower him with my authority.” “He will submit to my fury.” I’m overrun with an intense drive to squelch any rebellion, to squash his opposition. To silence his revolt. “Because I said so!” I boom.
Inevitably, these exchanges are followed by guilt. By shame. By humiliation. “If only my readers could see me now,” I think sorely. “If only they knew how out of control I sometimes feel. They’d never read another post,” I conclude.
But then something in me softens. My witnessing self awakens and I am once again sitting in the hub of mindfulness: minding my mind. Watching my fury, but not being seduced by it. Allow the feelings, without emoting them. Feeling, processing and reading the anger for what it is: a flag, a sign. What has it come to teach me? What need has gone unmet? (sleep, duh.)
And then suddenly, my monkey mind races to judge myself. To give myself a score in this parenting game. How “good” am I? Good enough? Nope. Not today. You SUCKED. You’re out. Sit on the bench!
But my witnessing mind watches these thoughts and chuckles: You’re human. You’re a parent. You have an inner child. And baggage. Let’s walk through this. Let’s talk through this. Let’s grow through this.
And then I repair with my child, I take responsibility in full. I apologize. We connect. And… he’s infinitely forgiving.
And then I turn inwards and quieten the voices that are attacking my character. “Thank you,” I say. “Thank you for trying to make me the best I can be. Thank you for trying to protect my child from my wrath. But I no longer need you today.” You don’t have to believe those unkind, unhelpful thoughts that go through you head. You deserve better than that.
If you have ever lost it with your kids… YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Parenting is miraculous, but it’s also HARD. So… are you able to take on this beautiful challenge of parenting from love? Are you good enough? Abso-freakin’-lutely. Now, go find some joy in this 🙂