Monday, October 16, 2017

October Reset: Parenthood

When I feel out of my normal control, I (too often) default to panic.  In my marriage reset post, I mentioned this panic too.  Children, especially as they multiply, can hit your overload button just by breathing sometimes.  Since Zoey was about 1, I've been trying to fully recover from the default panic mode my body had been set on.  Before we moved to the new house, I had finally started feeling healthy again, but then change ran amok.  Of all the roles I play in my life, being a mom is perhaps the one I feel the fiercest.  It's hard.  I'm easily overwhelmed.  I'm an introverted homeschooler which makes me a little crazy for alone time.  But I am absolutely enthralled with  what they are (miracles that combine their dad's DNA and mine in a beautiful way) and deeply committed to the responsibility of raising them.  So, despite the panic roller coaster they have kept me on, I keep coming back for more!

Still, panic is bad for your health long-term.  Trust me, I know.  So, my parenthood reset involves breathing first.  Before a reaction, before a demand, before a scolding, I'm learning to breathe.  My stressful state shouldn't be blamed or perpetuated (long-term) by their lives.  They are precious and the parts that aren't fall under my domain.  I'm the parent so it's my job to work on those.  Panic, stress and reaction is my responsibility to eliminate, not theirs.  The times when I struggle to enjoy my children have more to do with my state of mind than their behavior.  Parenthood reset puts my mental health under my control and responsibility.  A long day is still a long day, but I need to be cautious about blaming my children for what is largely my doing.  When I stay up too late or don't take time to pray and set my mind for the day - that's not their fault.  It is very easy for me to react to the behavior of now - like loud talking or children squabbles - as though they are the worst.  However, when I'm rested, emotionally filled and peaceful, managing those things are as simple as breathing.   The difference is me, not them.

It always sounds silly to hear someone say, "You're the parent, remember?" As though we could forget.  But somewhere along the way we do forget that being the parent means we are in control of so much whether we like it or not.  They do what we do.  They react like we react.  They resist what we resist.  Join the parenthood reset in taking control of what is and should be yours to direct.

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