Parenting has been a long series of learning opportunities for me, opportunities that have helped me to grow and transform in ways I am deeply grateful for. My most recent growth edge that's been coming up for a few ways is finding the right use of power.
As a new mom, I had a tricky relationship with power, wanting to have the capacity to make my kids be reasonable and nap, eat, and respond as I expected them to most of the time. I didn't yet know how to engage in the important work of letting them learn from experience rather than by listening to me. For years,my primary work has been to moderate my power, learning to be softer and more present.
Over the past few years, I'm learning that I need to wield power, just in a different form. I've been learning to be aware of my own needs, limits, and authority, listening more closely to myself without ignoring everyone else. It has been a constant process of trail and error, falling too far toward caring for their needs at the expense of my own, then too far toward my own needs at the expense of theirs.
The middle path, awareness and care for both at the same time, is where I'm headed. I'm starting to feel it more easily. It's like riding a bike, you can't be perfectly balanced in every moment, there's an overall sort of balance that keeps the bike up. That's what I'm working on.
Stay tuned, this week I'll write each day about finding my right use of parental power.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.