How To Stop ‘Doing’ Parenting And Simply Be A Parent

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Last week my daughter started Kindergarten, and I had written out a 3 page to-do list. I had planned out my schedule of all the things I was going to do, from learning German, to cleaning my house, making dinner every day and writing 3 more books. However I was so nervous about this new beginning I hadn’t got very far on my list.

This morning after dropping my daughter off, I finally felt like I could relax. This was the 7th day she had gone to Kindergarten, happy and excited. I finally trusted that she was safe there, and enjoying herself. And I went onto my balcony and curled up with Listen, the book about Hand in Hand Parenting by Patty Wipfler and Tosha Schore.  And I wondered why I was feeling guilty.

My head was full of shoulds. I should tidy up the house before my daughter’s birthday party this weekend. I should prepare everything before we go out to the parent’s evening tonight. But instead I was reading this wonderful book, listening to the wind rustling in the trees, and looking at the sunshine. I felt guilty, but then I became aware of my body. I noticed how nervous and tense my muscles were. I remembered how last week, I’d relied on caffeine to get through the day and manage the strong emotions that I had about my daughter starting Kindergarten, even though it makes me feel even more nervous and edgy.

I thought of all the play I’d done every evening, all of the special times, and all of the tantrums my daughter’s had as she processes learning a new language, and being in a new environment every single day. I realised that being the parent of a school child is no less intense than being the parent of a child you are with all the time, because that child brings all their feelings home to you in concentrated form!

And I realised that the most important thing right then was to stop ‘doing’ parenting and simply ‘be’ a parent. I know that if I rush around the place that’s when I’m more likely to get stressed and shout. I knew that resting my body for an hour or so, would mean I’d be in much better shape to connect with my daughter when she got home. And so I took a guilt free rest, knowing it was the best thing I could do for my family.

In this world of doing, fuelled by the demands that our busy modern, capitalist society puts on us, we need to make a conscious choice to return to being, without guilt or apologies. You are doing a wonderful job, putting your heart and soul into caring for your little ones, and you deserve a rest!

3 Little Buttons

6 thoughts on “How To Stop ‘Doing’ Parenting And Simply Be A Parent

  1. We absolutely do deserve a rest! As they say, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. Parenting is demanding and emotional so it makes sense that we need to re-charge our batteries regularly to be the best parents we can. Tor #DreamTeam

  2. Why is it we patents always feel guilty about having a little bit of ‘me’ time. I agree that we do need to reconnect with ourselves every now and then so that we can be more mindful and have more time for our children #DreamTeam

  3. I definitely agree that taking time for yourself is important. I know it helps me be more patient and relaxed. Also making all those lists and expectations can be so stressful. I’m for sure guilty of trying to be super mom and taking on so many things that I get lost in the shuffle. Thanks for sharing with #Dreamteam hope to see you back next week!

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