I see this hashtag all the time on social media. It covers all manner of posts, but I think what links them all is the drastic differences we can find ourselves facing as parents from one moment to the next. Sometimes as a mom I find myself bored out of my tree, laughing hysterically, more frustrated than I’ve ever been, and so full of a love I could never have imagined before. And that’s all just in the five minutes after they get out of bed.
Being a parent is, to use an enormous understatement, challenging.
Having recently started a new business, I found myself mulling over the challenge of parenthood. (Stay with me, the connection will make sense in a minute)
Being a business owner is much more challenging than I anticipated. It’s also the first time in a long time that I had the option of giving up. I’m not going to, but every day I have to consciously CHOOSE to work on my business, write a blog post, reach out to someone in real life (introvert nightmare, am I right?).
Parenting is a different kind of challenge because I can’t choose to stop being a parent. Even when it’s boring, even when it’s frustrating, even when I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m still the mom to four little humans who rely on me and my husband for everything from emotional support to the 628th snack of the day. “Mom” has become one of the biggest parts of my identity.
But some days, I parent on autopilot. I prepare the food, I break up the fights, I find the lost mitten. I don’t consciously choose how I’m parenting, I just do what needs to be done. That’s okay. But lately it’s been on my heart to think a bit more about how I’m interacting with my kids. As they get older, they start to be able to prepare their own food and find their own mittens (at least I hope so). But they begin to need more instruction and support to help them become grown-up humans that other people will actually want to spend time with. This is where my parenting choices really start to matter.
There’s just over a week left until Easter. For these last few days of Lent, I’m going to try harder to be more attentive, to be more conscious of how I respond, to actually CHOOSE to parent. Pray for me!