Being a parent they say is the hardest job in the world. The juggle of relationships, parenting, friendships and work commitments to name a few can cripple even the most organised person. Why is it that it can be so stressful? Was it always this way or are we ever increasing our loads and expectations?
Before kids we all have this ideal of what kind of parent we will be, and of course it will fill the voids from our parents, but in fact our ideal and fantasy of how we believe it "should" be is the very reason we come crashing down into the nightmare. As the women I listen to on Nourishing the Mother podcast say "what you judge or condemn, you breed and attract". What does that statement mean? Simply put, if you judge someone you'll attract the very thing you are judging. It is the worlds way of saying "don't let your ego fool you, you are the same".
I too had imperfect human parents and the older I get the more I see the value in who they were. That they were exactly who I needed to become who I am right now.
So what are the bits in parenthood that break you open? They'll be different for us all depending on our own childhood and expectations of this gig. For me the whining is a biggie. Did I really whine this much as a kid? Where is the mirror for me in this? What I mean by that is that whatever we are uncomfortable with in others, represents a hidden part of ourselves. The child with the biggest mirror is often the hardest one for parents to connect with.
Today was a day of incessant whining along with a complete side blow of one of my kids pooping in the bathroom rubbish bin. Yep you read correct! It was the most bizarre thing and something I was completely not equipped to parent through. I actually walked away to process and phone a friend (feels like the help option of who wants to be a millionaire). Luckily my friend is a soul sister who sees the world from many angles and was able to get curious with me. This is the key! Get curious when things are going to crazy town. In reality though we don't always pause, breathe and debrief before handling tricky situations. Sometimes we react. And do you know what? That serves a purpose too because the universe is always trying to create balance. It's quantum physics. Where there is a gap, we will get pulled into it. There will be times in their lives where people react. They need to also experience that. Imagine if we just coached and understood everything. How prepared would they be for the world and its sometimes harsh reality? It doesn't mean we need to be harsh but at times we will unintentionally be. And when we do, we have the opportunity to teach through it.
I can laugh about it now but in the moment it was a really genuine what the actual f**k. Once said child had calmed it gave me a chance to get the facts. Turned out they were busting and couldn't make it to the toilet. Then they were too embarrassed to tell anyone.
So at bedtime we debriefed the day. I let out my frustrations about not feeling listened to, feeling very tired and now wanting quiet for myself. They apologised, I apologised. All is well again.
You'll likely find whatever the default was in your childhood home you'll either make an effort to go completely the other way, or you'll repeat the pattern. You may find you do a bit of both of those. My biggest epiphany was learning to see where there actually is balance. To let go of the belief that I am one way, or that it's always hard, or they always whine (yes I am healing myself here as I write this),
because these beliefs keep me in a state of lack. And when we are in lack we are not in gratitude. And what we give energy and attention to grows. What we appreciate appreciates.
So give yourself a big pat on the back. This is a hard gig. The more you can forgive and love yourself through it all, the more your kids will emulate that and give it to themselves.