When my daughter was young, I’d always look forward to our park visits.

I’d convince myself everything was going to go great and she would behave perfectly.

I mean what could go wrong, right? Tons of screaming kids running around fighting over who could go down the slide first. Tons of moms starved for adult attention while their kids acted out. Everyone wanting to be seen, heard and understood at the same moment.

And of course, I wanted my daughter to have “perfect” behavior so I could be the “perfect” mom and fit in with all the other moms.

It was a set up for disaster and yet every time I exerted  pressure on myself and my daughter to get it right.

Over time, I noticed it wasn’t very fun to go to the park and it dawned on me I was living in a fantasy world and scared to face reality.

I was basing my happiness on what I thought I could control externally instead of focusing on the true happiness in the moment.

In comparing to others and my desire for perfection I missed the ONE thing I longed for my whole life: the experience of being a MOM. Not a perfect mom, just a mediocre mom loving my perfectly imperfect child.

When I saw through a different lens I relaxed and stopped seeing my daughter’s behavior as a threat to my well-being.

I noticed when she was stressed she would communicate through her behavior.

Slowly, as I took care of myself I came alongside her when she needed me the most.

I noticed how precious she was especially when she was trying to take care of herself.

I offered love and support instead of criticism and blame.

It has been a profound journey seeing through a different lens.

Listen to podcast Ep. 29 “Fixing the Problem Never Works”