Lately I’ve been feeling calmer. So have my kids. I don’t know what has come over me. I’ve read two parenting books, both fairly different in their philosophies.
But both books spoke to me and centered me. I am, rather suddenly, a more confident parent.
Not that I would necessarily follow either book’s advice. But they somehow made my right-now world make sense.
There is still crying. There is still yelling. There are still unhappy children when mommy expects them to do their age-appropriate chores and won’t let them have TV or toys until the work is done (and, for the most part, the work is done together; after all, my kids are only 4 and 2, but it’s never too early to start teaching them responsibility).
I have been told by my four-year-old that she doesn’t love me when I ask her to do things that she’d rather not do (like unpack her school bag at the end of the day).
I have had my two-year-old tell me to “STOP IT MOM-MY!” when I guide him toward the pile of mega blocks he has left lying in the middle of the dining room and ask him to help me pick them up.
But all in all, I am unphased by these usual stresses. I feel more grounded; more in love with my children. More ready to help them learn how to control their anger and their outbursts; just as I have been controlling my anger and outbursts.
And from these last few weeks of calm, I can see a change in my children.
I watch with a happy heart as my daughter teaches my son a game and he stands and listens patiently as she explains what he is to do. He then proceeds to follow her instructions and they play their game together, unaware that I am watching them with a goofy smile on my face.
I watch them take turns playing with some new toys that have come into our possession as prizes for my daughter’s participation in Jump Rope for Heart. She calmly chooses which ones she will play with first and hands the rest to her brother (who doesn’t really care which toy he gets as long as he gets a new toy).
This new calm in our house reminds me of a post I wrote some time ago. So much has changed in me since then. But I can’t take all the credit. My children are growing up and becoming more mature. I miss their baby days. But I’m so in love with the little people they are becoming.