I haven’t listened to the latest parenting podcast. I haven’t read the most recent hit how-to book on “being the best mom ever”. And I haven’t scrolled through the numerous posts on social media about why moms do (or don’t) have “mom guilt”, although I have certainly seen them before. And none of these are bad, in fact I’m sure many are really encouraging and insightful and I would like to catch up on it someday. But see, that’s the thing. I just don’t have time for that right now. All I know is that I’m on this rollercoaster called Motherhood that has it’s highs and lows (honestly mostly highs because I love my kids so freaking much and we have a lot of fun together), BUT…some days are HARD. And in the very moment when I need to practice patience, well sometimes I respond with patience and heaven-sent grace aaand sometimes I don’t. But I can tell you that I learn from the times when I don’t. I need forgiveness just like any other human and I make sure my kids know when I’m trying to be better. And then I really try to be better.
We’ve been talking a lot about kindness in our family lately and how even just the tone we use can make a big difference. My husband and I have agreed that even when we (unintentionally) use a tone that is more curt and serious, e.g. just because we are rushed to get out the door or overwhelmed by another stressor, it rubs off on our children and we hear them talk to one another in the same exact tone. So, we (as parents) are trying to “say things with a smile”, even if we gotta fake it until we make it, ha! No really…it’s actually helping. Putting on a sing-songy voice can do wonders, I tell ya!🎵
That’s just one example of how I know I’m doing my best as a parent. I’m not spending x,y,z amount of time reading about how others are doing it, or how I should be doing it, etc. (because I don’t have time!). I’m simply trying. And that’s enough, isn’t it? We are enough when we know we are consistently trying to build our people up and not bring them down. Doing some regular self-reflection and a little open communication with the spouse never hurts, either. And maybe we’ll write a book someday or share through a podcast 😉 …but we’ll probably just be busy trying our best, making mistakes along the way because that’s life. We’re just aiming for progress (particularly with practicing kindness, at the moment), and I know these habits will rub off on my kids, too.