Mini Victories in Motherhood.
Many of you who know me are already aware of my deep-seated feelings of inadequacy when it comes to motherhood. For years now, I've taken all of your loving and encouraging words to heart. In spite of the support, I still focused on the negative interactions and overlooked the many great experiences each day. While the following might seem like a mundane or insignificant story to share, it represents my efforts to focus on my mini victories in parenthood and all the small successes throughout the day!
With just a few compassionate words, I was able to connect with Ben, prevent conflict, and make it out of the house on time! I count peacefully getting in the car with all the kids on time without forgetting my phone, purse or mind a miraculous victory. All you parents out there, can I get an Amen?
Our sweet and sensitive son is a bit of a homebody who, at times, struggles with transition--especially if it involves leaving the house. Even with several gentle reminders and plenty of preparation time, he often rejects the news its time to get ready and leave.
One day, I promised him he would have time to play with his sisters before heading out for an activity. Realizing we would be late if they got involved in their imagination game, I made a conscious decision to try a new approach. I hoped I could soften the blow of the bad news without the usual loud and conflicting fallout. I found him downstairs and and sat calmly beside him. With a genuinely compassionate tone, I explained how sorry I was, that I really wanted him to have time to play with his sisters, and that I felt terribly about underestimating the time we needed to get ready to leave. I promised to make it up to him when we returned home. Miraculously, he happily replied, "That's OK, mom. We can play when we get back."
I'm sure this comes naturally to some but for me it was a HUGE leap in learning to parent with empathy and compassion. He still often reminds me that my tone is too harsh or that I'm being " mean or unfair." It's not always easy to hear, but when he's right (which is often), I thank him for the reminder.