Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Is Being a Parent Making You Crazy? Change this one Thing.

When I was a young mom, I found myself getting angry at my young children fairly often.  One day as I hurriedly tried to put dishes in the dishwasher and my two-year-old undid all my work by taking them out and spreading them across the floor, anger flashed once again into my heart. 

I took a minute, though, to look at my feelings.  My stress was higher than usual because I knew some people might be stopping by later and I wanted the house to look nice.  As a young mom, I wanted to prove that I was a good homemaker.  I wanted to feel like I was good at what I was doing and I recognized that, in my own heart, I had decided that if I couldn’t keep the house in order, I wasn’t good at what I was doing! 

Most startlingly, though, I realized that by making my goal “a house in order,” I had effectively turned my two-year old into my enemy!  The reason my house wasn’t in order was because of my two-year old.  If I needed my house to be in order to feel like a success, then my two-year old stood between me and success.  I was a failure because of her!

This made me consider.  When I put them next to each other for comparison, I knew that the nurturing of this sweet soul was far and away more important than whether my house was in order!  And while having my house in order was a good goal, I needed to recognize that it had to take a back seat to my higher goals.  I needed to have a higher goal!  I needed to figure out what I subconsciously thought of as success and subjugate it to what I knew in my conscious mind were my real goals.

I needed to Change This One Thing—my goal!

While doing the dishes, my goal was to have the house in order and it effectively turned my two-year-old into my enemy.  There are many more goals, which, although seem like part of a sane, normal person’s goals for a regular day, will in-fact turn your children into your arch-enemies.  Here are a few examples:

      1)      Making things last.  The more you want your child not to break something, the more I can guarantee that they will find a way.  Just let go now.  You will have to replace everything.

      2)      Getting to places on time.  Even if you do find both shoes, the baby will mess her pants right as you’re going out the door.

      3)      Not disturbing others.  They will scream in the store, make loud noises in their pants during church meetings, and run between the legs of senior citizens.  They just will!  You are not a failure because they did!

      4)      Getting sleep.  This is one of the first goals we know we have to give up on and yet, it is so. hard.  Still, not having it as a goal helps you to not be angry at the little person who mucked it all up for you.  Again.

      5)      Having your child always be happy with you.  Nothing can make us feel more like a failure than our own child’s tears.  You can’t avoid it all the time, nor should you!  Mark yourself by your higher goal and stop being so hard on yourself by this standard.

Have you ever felt like a failure when you weren’t able to accomplish these things?  As we have all discovered, these are only some of the many disappointments of parenting.  If you are a success only if these goals are met, then get rid of these now!  What are you really trying to do?  What would you like to accomplish with these souls?  What is really the most important thing?

I’m glad that for me, it stopped being the dishes.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Katy. Your children are blessed they're yours.