"" The Exhausted Mom: Pay It Forward Friday ~ Parenting With Compassion

August 30, 2012

Pay It Forward Friday ~ Parenting With Compassion

Meet Vanessa:
A mother to three incredibly curious little girls ages 8, 6 and 3.  A lover of all things 'creative' from sewing to crafting to baking and cooking to poetry and obviously, writing.  Her blog, Mama Scribble, is filled with memoirs as well as inspiration and a pinch of creativity here and there.  


Parenting With Compassion
Can we all agree that being a parent is hard work? Great, thank you. Let’s move on now.

My biggest challenge in parenting is remaining kind toward myself. I place enormous amounts of energy on expectations that are simply unrealistic, i.e., to keep my garage organized and clean, to not let the dirty laundry go past four days (ha!), to have my house in perfect shape for unexpected visitors (yeah, sure!), etc. These are just a few of them!

When those ‘unrealistic’ expectations don’t get done so commences the complaining and the coming down on myself as the “parent that just cannot handle it all.”  (Insert sigh)

This is the part where I talk about being compassionate toward one self. Compassion falls on a wide spectrum but it can be applied to just about everything. When I am compassionate toward myself, it reminds my children that I am not only imperfect, but that I’m also learning along the way and this is quite okay. When I am compassionate toward my children, they see that no matter how many mistakes they make, or how many times they spill their drink or leave their shoes in the middle of the walkway or forget to turn the running water off in the bathroom, that they too are learning along the way and this too is quite okay. Alright, the shoes in the middle of the walkway is just plain annoying, but you know what I mean.

Instead of getting caught up in the minutiae of details about my expectations, I stop, look around and ask myself, “what are my children really going to remember from all this?” This is a valid question because it makes me stop and say, “I’m an imperfect human and there is nothing wrong with it,” because at the end of the day my children will remember the emotion they took from how I treated myself and them and not so much the way the house looked, or whether all their clothes were neatly folded in their drawers. Nope. The emotion and compassion that they experienced is what will stick to them. Period.

In essence, parenting with compassion starts with myself. I cannot expect any better from my children if I’m harder on myself. They will always emulate what I show them. They will glean from my attitude towards myself. Parenting includes loving and mothering or fathering ourselves along the way.

Parenting with compassion reminds us that we’re not perfect but we’re doing our best. We’ll have good days, bad days, great day and days that we wish to forget and this is all quite okay. Be kind to yourself because we’re all in this together.


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