A little while back, I came across a post in my Facebook news feed about parenting with grace, from a mother frustrated with her own ungraceful parenting moment. And in the media, there is this great article about a mother currently under praise and scrutiny for her honesty. These got me thinking.
Why is that? Why not embrace the honesty of parental experience? Why should it be such an anomaly? And thank you! To the mothers so willing to share. It’s tough peeps.
I’m female (duh) so I can only provide a woman’s perspective (apologies men - but you have your blogs too) - and sociologically as women, today - we parent, we wife, partner, spouse or single parent, we cook, clean and keep a house - and work. At least from my experience. And I’ve learned that many of these are my ‘isms’. I love having a tidy home, a warm home cooked meal with my family each evening, watching the kids grow and help them when they ask. I love talking to my husband - hearing about his day. And between all of that I work - full time.
So, here is the million dollar question. Do I get time? heh, learning. What I’ve realized and not on my own - with the help of an incredible counselor and my husband - is that I have to MAKE the time - the dishes can wait. It’s up to me really. To put my foot down and say ‘no’ (nope - not good at this), carve out certain times of the day for me (guiltlessly. psh - yeah right?!) and scream for help (our code word is ‘KEEP! KEEP!’ which makes me chuckle before I lose my sanity). And when I ask for it - be prepared to instruct. Because if I’m not present, then it shows. Quite ungracefully.
I notice it most when my constant repetitive instruction comes into play, you know - ‘so and so - please, go grab such and such’, ‘don’t put that chair over there’, ‘fold that blanket, please’, ‘get ready to go, I’ve said it three times?!!’, (mumble) 'or you could wash the dishes', etc…. Some call it nagging and with my husband it becomes passive aggressive (bleh!). When I am full - when I have taken care of myself, fed my soul - instructions are constructive. Cooperative. We work together and with that pride, joy and warmth exude. We are a team. It's also important for the kids to see what it means to take care of yourself so you can unselfishly, empathetically - whole heartedly with intention - be there for someone else.
So I am learning (mostly without grace. you know what? screw this grace thing - malarky) to take care of myself. Read, blog, take pictures, drink a WARM cup of tea in guiltless silence, really watch my family at dinner, be a part of the arts (check out this Cincinnati Ballet video - breathtaking, I've watched it twice already) - talk to my family. These are me. I am a mother, an audio engineer, a wife - but above all, I am Chelsea. I am me.