Monday, June 6, 2011

Love Is Not Enough

I make a lot of mistakes.  Tons.  So many in fact, that it is actually an identifiable step in my parenting process.  My parenting strategies are usually developed something like this:   One of my children messes up, I respond in a less than desirable manner.  Later I have my, "What the heck?  I screwed that up!" revelation quickly followed by mom guilt.  I will wallow in the guilt for awhile and then I will begin to dissect what happened and how it went wrong.  I may Google, call a friend, or read a book to find a better strategy.  Once I feel I have found a better way I get pretty excited to try it and I actually hope someone screws up so that I can try it out.  It may seem a little dysfunctional but it is the truth.

I completely realize that I will never be perfect so I no longer put the pressure of that expectation on myself.  I am going to screw up.  What I am not going to do is live in a cycle of the same mistakes over and over and over.  Mistakes can be an excellent catalyst to becoming a better parent or they can be another bucket of water dumped in your sinking ship.  The good news is that it is your choice.

So, what do you choose?  Will you be a model of self-awareness and growth, or do you prefer to be an example self-denial and stubbornness?  Perfection is not an option.  It is not an option for you or your kid. You will both breathe deeper and easier once this is an accepted truth in your home.

Dr. Tim Kimmel goes into great detail about this in his book Grace Based Parenting.  If you have not read this book I really recommend it.  I know that some of you will not read the book and that is one of the reasons I fit into your world.  I have learned over the years that several of my friends don't read the parenting books because they know I will and so they just call me and ask what I have learned - hence the blog.  ;) 

I don't think that how we get the knowledge is important.  What is important is that we identify our mistakes and strive to do it better the next time.  You are all great moms.  Some of you do not know it yet and some of you are hiding behind many years of bad choices but ya know what?  Change.  Start today.  Start with your most current mom guilt moment.  How did it go wrong?  Where can you seek advice?  What will you do different next time?

Parents love their kids.  No one is doubting your love, but the truth is that love does not equal good parenting.  Change is hard and building new parenting habits is super hard.  The good news is that if your household is anything like mine your next opportunity to learn from a mistake is not that far off.

Today is the day you start becoming the mom you want to be!  Congratulations!

No comments:

Post a Comment