Can parenting be easy?

We hear it all the time, parenting is hard; the hardest job in the world. And attachment parenting is even harder and more demanding! So, what is it about parenting that we are finding so hard? A common complaint is exhaustion. I have found that there are ways to let parenting energize you. What has also helped is accepting when I am tired and trusting that I will get the rest I need. It becomes hard as soon as I start believing the thoughts that say that I shouldn’t be be tired and that I should be doing something productive. Often when I am tired I am better at just being with my kids. They love to cuddle, tell me stories or build forts around me. Being exhausted can be a gift as it reminds me to slow down and just be with them.
Making parenting easy relies understanding children as complete beings that want to feel connected and loved, always. It also is important to assessmy own beliefs that cause me to feel like things should be different than what they are. Life becomes exhausting once we think that our children and our partners and our lives with them should look a certain way. There is no standard child, partner or family and we all evolve in our own glorious way. I think that we have been led to believe that children “do this” or “act like that” and we should respond in a certain way. Being attached to any of those ideas drains me. I have found that when I attempt to have control I can easily become angry, discouraged and depressed. But when I let go, I am joyful and compassionate and ready for all of life. The more I do it, the more it automatically happens to me that I respond happily to all situations. When I am living free of expectation, I am free to love my children even when they struggle. Especially when they struggle. I see their conflicts as part of the process and maybe even necessary to the learning about themselves and life. A tantrum is never bad or undesired, it is what it is. Which could be my child mirroring my own dysfunctional state or them communicating an unmet need. Whatever it may be, I welcome it and trust that the way to be with them already exists. Often this means me being silent. I don’t have so many of the answers, but I can hug and love them. Love always wins. Time-outs and punishments may be effective in preventing a behavior but they don’t strengthen the connection that we share, actually they do the opposite. And that’s what society is missing: connection. Connection is the key to patenting and to living in harmony.
My partner and I often stare at each other in amazement at how easily the children flow into sleep. We have hear the bedtime horror stories but at our house it is a joy. I will have to write a post on just that one day as I wish for every parent to experience this joy. It doesn’t have to be stressful and hard.
I would say that the hardest thing about parenting is overcoming my negative emotional responses to my children (and everything else). I wasn’t raised with attachment parenting, unconditional love, acceptance and guidance and so often that is not my first response. I often feel frustration or irritation but I have to chose not to believe it. I have to chose another way.
So, the hardest thing about parenting is actually … Me.

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4 responses »

  1. Really nice. Sometimes during the day I need to rest a bit, but I like to do so in the midst of the family. I don’t want to leave and go up to my room. I’d rather just rest on the couch for a few minutes and let the activity swirl around me.

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