Thursday, January 22, 2015

Parental Epiphany

There has been too much nagging, snapping, yelling, reprimanding, reminding, sighing, eye-rolling, arguing, negotiating, repeating, and crying around our house lately. Last night after a particularly difficult day with my daughter I was at the end of my rope.

Tears in my eyes, frustration radiating through every bone in my body I was in desperate need of answers. So I did what I assume most moms do when it is too late to phone a friend or relative. I Googled it.

The exact phrase I initially typed in - "how to survive mercury retrograde with children"

Fascinating results. But not exactly what I was looking for.
Thinking about how out of whack Emy has been I was searching for something to blame. The internal debate I was having about what was having more of an impact on her declining mood - Mercury or the Chuck E. Cheese Hangover I was pretty sure she had from our previous days outing, was a lot more entertaining than acknowledging the likely truth. Was it me? 

This morning my friend Loni shared this incredible blog post from the site Coffee & Crumbs by Jennifer Batchelor. Entitled - When Does It Get Easier?  it held EXACTLY the answers I was searching for last night.

"Then she grows up a little more, and you realize that merely keeping her alive isn't enough anymore. You also have to actually parent her. You have to teach her not to hit when she's angry. You have to teach her to be kind to others and share her toys.
And, when this phase happens, it dawns on you. You cannot teach her anything without demonstrating it first. Kids are sponges, and she's soaking you up all day long, every single day. If you want her to be kind, you must be kind. If you want her to be generous, you must be generous. If you want her to control her temper, you must control your temper. Parenting isn't just about shaping her character - it's also about shaping yours." 

I cried.
I cried because I love when the Universe sends me messages via Facebook.
I cried because I needed to hear those words, that minute.
I cried because the truth is hard.

It isn't that Emy's attitude needs adjusting, it's that mine does. I need to do a lot less of my list of bad behavior and a lot more  apologizing, hugging, consoling, reassuring, laughing, waiting, cuddling, and forgiving. Not just for my little girl's sake either. For my own.

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