By 9am, the kids have already given their bickering and arguing muscles robust work outs. By 9am, the breakfast dishes have taken over the kitchen, and don't seem inclined to clean themselves. By 9am, I've seen disgust, anger, defiance, and tears. By 9am, it is clear that what is needed here is a new paradigm, a shift in the family pattern we've fallen into of late.
Parenting seems to be a continual process of returning to who we know we should be for our kids.
Two of the biggest challenges I face as a mother are: (1) Finding the motivation to do repetitive, mundane tasks, such as doing laundry, washing dishes, and correcting misbehavior. The seemingly immediate need to do it all over again lays me low. And (2) Continually finding the patience to show the kids how to be patient and kind with each other. Based on their finely honed ability to be searingly sarcastic with each other, I know they are capable of learning things from me. I'd like to see them be kinder and more patient with each other and guess what? I think that starts with me. Or rather, with us, the parents.
So today, I am borrowing from my Catholic faith, and from a blogger I enjoy reading, and keeping two beautiful mantras in mind:
Do small things with great love. -- Mother TheresaThe simplest and most effective way to sanctity is to disappear into the background of ordinary everyday routine. -- Thomas Merton
These two ideas, expressed by Catholic "saints," could be titled Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Parenting. I don't think you need to be either Catholic or religious to understand the truth they hold. They speak to the exact requirements of parenthood, I think.
Throw in a sense of humor, and I just might make it through another day.
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