Last week, I was kind of stressed out. OK, I was more than a little stressed. Our family wasn't working well- not the way I wanted it to, anyway. My work time was getting squished, bedtimes were getting later and later, I wasn't getting enough sleep... (maybe you've had a similar experience??)
I wasn't happy. I was getting short with my kids because I was frustrated. My to-do list was long, but so was the time it was taking to get out the door to school in the morning. My nights and my work time were short. And every delay for bedtime was driving me up the wall! I didn't have the patience. My needs weren't being met.
In the past, I might have just started yelling. I might have resorted to consequences. I might have wanted my child to feel the same discomfort I was experiencing. It probably wouldn't have been pretty.
But I've been doing this consciously parenting thing for a while. Not perfectly. But I know that I handle things much better than I used to most of the time. I know that things go better when I find a way to connect before I make a request or correct my sons. I know that if I can respect their needs and mine, too, that things go much better for everyone. I also know that the moment when I'm upset about something isn't the moment to try to have a logical conversation with my boys (or really anyone else, for that matter).
My 10 year-old and I had a conversation and worked out a solution that met my needs and also met his. He was able to hear what was going on for me and my frustrations (we've been doing this for a while) and I was able to hear what he needed, too.
The next day after a dramatically easier bedtime and a great morning send-off to school, I was sitting in my office chair smiling. I had somehow managed to meet my needs without disrespecting my son's needs. And now I could do the work I really needed to do. Beautiful.
I found myself thinking about all the parents who have felt like me- when things aren't working in a way that feels good to you. And when it doesn't feel good to you, it doesn't feel good to your family, either. And that means it isn't working for them, either. If you're like me and you're wanting to parent consciously and peacefully with respect, that can be really challenging if you don't have the tools to do so. I know I didn't have them for many years and felt so frustrated!
Last week, I had a mom contact me because her 4 year-old daughter was hitting her. This was clearly not working for mom! Mom didn't want to react negatively, so she was just trying to ignore the behavior until she figured out what to do. She would rather do nothing than something that was going to be really disrespectful (like hitting her or yelling at her).
I'm guessing that you probably have felt this way about something in your parenting life. What is it? I want to talk about these things with you and other parents around the globe who are striving to parent consciously, but aren't sure how to get to a place of balance in the family in respectful ways.
So you're invited to my upcoming webinar / call: Creating a Family Life that Works for YOU. I'm going to be answering YOUR questions.
The call will be held on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 8pm eastern. Please sign up even if you can't attend live. We'll be recording this call and will send out a recording once the call is over (and all the technical miracles have happened to put it on a page where you can listen to it... magic, I tell you...).
What are your biggest challenges getting in the way of creating a family life that works for you? And for your family? I had an image of the way I wanted things to be in my family and then I had the way things actually were... and I wasn't sure how to get there from where I was. It didn't happen overnight, but I found the baby steps I needed to take to begin to move in the direction I wanted to go. Baby step after baby step. Steps backwards and sideways, but I finally realized that I was just dancing and there was nothing actually wrong.
Come join us as we explore ways you can begin to make your own baby steps from wherever you are right now.