Before becoming a Mom, I was incredibly judgy when observing how others parented.
Witnessing parents getting angry with their kids and trying to control them, activated a secret sense of pride inside – I was SURE as a parent, I’d do it so differently. Perhaps the same thought lived in you before you started your parenting journey?
In fact, part of the inspiration for becoming a parent at all, was giving myself the opportunity to ‘do it right’. Having grown up in a dysfunctional home, I did countless hours of therapy, read every book I could get my hands on and entered a spiritual inquiry practice. To top that off I waited until I was 44 convincing myself I was finally mature enough NOT to be my mom. ! HA! I was determined to get this RIGHT.
I stepped into the reality of motherhood! Seeing my motivation was often to “get it right”, according to what the experts claimed was the way to parent, led to mistrusting my deep wisdom. Suffering a deep inner divide led to blaming my daughter for my failure.
Having mental templates of what I thought I was supposed to do, rubbing up against my unique knowing, suppressed a simple intimacy and support for expressing my brilliance.
Reading the parenting experts, I felt chided about being permissive and letting my child get away with things. And yet following their advice created an environment in which I stepped over my boundaries, abandoning my inner wisdom and therefore my daughter’s.
Thankfully, my daughter rejected all the techniques I threw her way. She wasn’t interested in pleasing me. Even though secretly I was overjoyed she wasn’t taking on the pleasing behavior, I’d taken on as a child, I wasn’t able to openly own my knowing in public. When she acted out in public I threw her “under the bus” since I so desperately wanted to fit in and look like I was doing it “right”. I longed for the approval of others more than trusting my knowing.
But in truth, the experts aren’t parenting your particular child, with their unique needs and expression. For my family, I chose to create an environment in which we could both express our unique brilliance, without being caught in the conditioning of being who others wanted us to be.
Are you up for trying something challenging this week?
When feeling discomfort in relation to your child – they are on the computer too long, won’t get to be on time, or refuse to eat your well-balanced meal – lean into and underneath the discomfort. Instead of feeding the mental ideal of how things are supposed to go, take a moment to put yourself in your child’s position. How would you behave if you were totally immersed in something – your work or even a movie – and your child walks in, demanding you to stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW, telling you in so many words that you are a disappointment if you don’t. What happens inside? Would you feel like cooperating in meeting their needs?
Now replay that scene tapping into your inner wisdom while seeing how you want to be approached and treated. Is it different than the experts, your conditioned idea, or what “being right” tells you to do.? Or not? (Remember, not to look through the lens of right or wrong…..just honest truth.)
Looking forward to hearing how it goes.