My children have changed my life. For the better.
I know when they are little, having children can be relentless. It is exhausting. They need things all the time. They don’t sleep well. Not enough personal time or space for you.
But, but… They grow and become their own beings. They make your heart swell with pride and break with their pain.
Years ago I read parts of Buddhist book for mothers of young children. One of the things it said was that we should treat our children like honored guests in our homes. This struck a chord with me. I was also told around this time, that we are doomed to parent like we were parented unless we try very hard not to repeat what happened to us. Yikes! Unless you were lucky enough to have great parents. Not me. Mine were very caught up in their own dramas. I didn’t want to parent like them!
My children are consent opportunities for personal growth. I want to be for them what I never had, and what, as the honored guests in my home that they are, what they deserve.
Here are some of the things they have taught me.
You can always do things differently. You can have a do over, at any moment. And again, and again. So you yelled? Whatever. Apologize and try not to do it again. (But you will! : ))
No one is perfect and that is fine. You love your babies even though they have flaws. Everyone does! FYI, this helps forgive yourself for your own flaws.
To feel bliss. I never felt truly happy until I was about 40 years old. I was at a skating party of our friend Mason. Colin was about 9 and Emily, 5. Em was skating away, she was a natural at all things physical, and Colin was using one of those walker things for the ice. I am an OK skater and was keeping Colin company on the ice when I realized how happy I was. I was so present. Maybe the act of not falling on my butt helped me stay in the moment. No thinking about the past or worrying about the future. I am a recovering control freak so just being in this state was unusual for me. But it felt so good. I wanted more! I am still not great at this but I now have moments most days where life is just now and feels good.
Along with this was the lesson that it is OK to be still and not think about anything. I am a highly effective person and boy, oh, boy, can I get things done. But it is tiring to always be so busy. To have your mind spinning away at the speed of light. My kids made me sit at playgrounds with nothing to do but watch them play. Wait for them at various lessons. Just sit. And that felt really good too. I could feel the tension in my shoulders that I had been too busy to acknowledge. I could breathe and relax. Just be.
All of this slowing down has allowed me to see things that were blurred before. I am now obsessed with the shapes of shadows, con trails, things I was too busy to take notice of.
Take a moment during this holiday season, between shopping, cooking, and cleaning, a moment to breathe in your sweet babes.