Parenting can be hard. (obvious opening statement!) It is made harder when you are hard on yourself. It is also made harder when you are not supported well by others, and when you are judged. Some of these things are out of your control though. Judgement is alive and well in parenting as much as some of us choose to rise above this, it still hurts. Part selfish, part selfless .. this is a list of things that I hereby promise to myself and that I invite you to promise with me.
♡ I will choose grace over anger. Not every time, but as many times as possible. Anger has a place, it is a natural emotion as long as you don’t let it rule you! Grace is such a beautiful thing.
♡ I will forgive myself .. when I lose my cool, if I raise my voice and for a split second (or few) forget to choose grace.
♡ I will not compare myself to the other parents, or other families. You never know what is going on behind the lives of others, even the ones who are judging you are the ones most likely hurting the most.
♡ I will lead by example .. choosing my words and my actions carefully, knowing that my children will become who I am. It is not always easy to remember this, practice practice practice! It is not about being perfect either, remember that, it is about being real.
♡ I will always be real and show my emotions .. so that my children know that this is OK, and that they are safe to do the same. It is not necessary to put on a front for them, beyond the obvious appropriate behaviour requirements for small children!
♡ I will remind myself that ‘This Too Shall Pass’ .. especially when I am in the depths of guilt and what may seem like the endless day or night.
♡ I will compliment other parents .. at every opportunity, even those who I think least deserve it. It is not about deserving. Be more kind than you feel, especially on the days you feel the least kind.
♡ I will always honour and remember what makes me happy .. as a person and a parent. It is not necessary to lose yourself in parenting, let go of any guilt around doing what fills you up as a person.
♡ I will smile .. especially when it feels like the last thing I want to do. It can actually change what is going on in your body and your mind, true story.
♡ I will love and take care of myself. If only for 10 minutes a day, please do something for you that is nurturing, nourishing and restorative. It is such a basic commitment yet it will make such a huge difference to your parenting.
So, are you with me?