I started this New Year off with a whimper. Or a whine. Or a wail. Whatever it was, it was a long-winded conversation with my partner about how we are doing as individuals, as spouses, and as parents. I realized that as a parent I feel as though I am the above. Woefully inadequate.
Is this a bad thing? Maybe not. I have had seasoned parents tell me that if you’re not nervous about parenting then you’re not paying attention to your child(ren). It is an ongoing nerve-wracking process. We never master parenting a child in a particular stage of development, do we? No, because children change. So do we.
So then come the deeper questions and self reflections. Do I know why I am feeling a lack of self confidence as Tasha, wife, and mother? I have some solid leads (and will string you along as we explore the inner annals of my parenting mind in blog posts instead of listing them now – mwahaha.) I suppose the tougher question is whether I give myself the time to sit down and reflect on how I might start making changes in the areas where I feel the weakest.
So in the spirit of the new year, I will write down some ways that I can address the stresses that tack up on all three identities.
1. Tasha: Continue with tai chi classes. Practice at home. Schedule that massage I was given as a gift back in August. Leave the kids with their Dad when he gets home from work and go for a walk on the stressful days. Reach out to others. Ask for help. Breathe my way through the moments when I am quick to anger. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
2. Wife: Schedule more dates with my husband. Try new things together – I really want to try snowshoeing! Find out what he really wants to try. Listen. Pay attention to the strengths in the successful marriages I see around me. Remember that my partner doesn’t want me to fail – he wants me to thrive.
3. Mother: Practice gratitude consistently throughout my day. Hug more. Play the games that my kids want to play. Don’t judge my kids’ feelings – even when I am disappointed in a choice one or both has made, create a safe space for them to share their thoughts while still creating appropriate boundaries for them. Check Facebook less, check their faces more. Remember that my children tend to act out when they feel hungry, tired, or neglected. I want to instill in my children the ability to handle failure and keep trying, and remind them of the ways that they are thriving each and every day.
It’s a start…