Gold medalist, League Champions, Employee of the Year, Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player, Rookie of the Year, Sales Person of the Month, bonus cheques, promotions, honourable mentions. Society has so many ways to keep us motivated and inspired to become the best at the things we do.
And then, there’s parenting.
Parenting is the hardest job in the world – hands down! As a mom, I continue to be awe-struck at the amount of time, energy, creativity, resourcefulness, patience and ability that is required to be an ADEQUATE parent. If you’re the type that strives to be the best at everything, you must have the above qualities in infinite quantities, while expecting none of the accolades that many other jobs offer to our workforce.
To me, it feels like there are two styles …or states of parenting. I feel that I roll around in both states, but never for a prescribed or predictable period of time.
There’s State A ~ when you are completely content with the natural rewards that come with watching your children grow, develop, succeed on their own, along with a lifetime supply of hugs and kisses that warm your heart.
There’s State B ~ when you feel like you’re not doing enough, never getting it right, or the kids are never happy – despite herculean efforts!
For me, being in state B is the most frustrating and painful state to be in. I usually get tied-up in State B when I feel busy or overrun. You know what I’m talking about, surely. Our households get busy before we know it. Busy with sport and club schedules, busy with school, busy with work…just plain busy. For some reason, life can get reduced to keeping deadlines and timelines. At our house, the kids sure do respond to these demands. They’re like lil’ activists when life gets chaotic. The kids have their own way of walking the picket line protesting for their rights. Sometimes they protest peacefully, other times they wind up in “jail”. In the end, everyone is left feeling pretty lousy.
Balance. Isn’t that what we all strive for? When I am playing volleyball, hitting the gym, and taking time to read my book…parenting is a lot easier. Sometimes a twinge of guilt comes over me and I hold back on doing the things I like, because it means time away from people at home. But in the end, my body, mind and spirit are like rogue warriors tearing through the guilt. Okay Heidi, it’s time for you to come first. Taking time to meet my own needs is not always easy. Feeling guilty is one thing, and making the effort is the other. It doesn’t take long before I see the benefits of balance, and I find a routine that works for everyone. Then the entire family reaps the rewards.
Ultimately though, being in State A is magnificent! Our kids are constantly growing and learning. As we witness their progress, enjoy in the fun, and support their needs, our bucket fills with pride.
I could go on and on about this. You know what? I think this post needs a sequel. So I’ll sign-off here and pour into the joys of state A, later on.
So, how is parenting going for you?