I believe that we all have learned to play different roles in our lives which can be traced back to our childhood. Each circumstance often calls for a different me, having to juggle my work self, my professional self and my parenting self just to name a few. I see myself switching to each role effortlessly but with certain inevitable consequences effecting myself in particular.
The truth is that I sometimes find it exhausting trying to keep up with everything since Im responsible for quite a bit of stuff. I often wake up in the morning wanting to go back to bed. Pulling the covers back over my head sounds like heaven more than I would like to admit. However, when you are responsible for two little humans, there’s very little you can get away with, for every thing you choose to do as a parent has a direct affect, either negative or positive, on your kids, as well as on yourself. Two consistent feelings that go with parenthood are guilt and shame, so we do everything in order to avoid feeling them. This can act as a great motivator to do better. Easy it is not, but the more we practice the better we can get. Great parents are made not born. Still, for me and my journey I have found that balancing priorities is key if I am to be a more positive parent and have a more positive effect on my kids.
Why do I balance my priorities and How do I manage that?
I need to balance my priorities otherwise things get chaotic. One vital thing in parenting if you should want to be a “good” positive parent, is learning to take care of yourself first. I write so often in my previous blog posts, that we cannot pour from an empty cup. Our cup has to be full in order to be able to effectively give to another person and this applies to parenthood more than you know! Children, bless them, can be extremely demanding, they have a lot of needs! Oh My God, so many needs. Where do I begin? Apart from the day to day practical physical care there are psychological needs, emotional needs, mental needs, they need to be stimulated and educated and if we are not prepared, things can go bad very fast, very easily.
By balancing my priorities I know what I can handle, when to say yes and when to say no. All in the right time applies here as well. My priorities are my children, but before that my priority is myself. I take time out everyday where I have a daily ritual including meditation, journaling, reading and blogging. I set intentions to my day so I can start off with a positive note. I take inventory of my behaviors in order to keep me in check. I am consistently working towards my growth and my personal well being. When I have to apologize for being out of line with them, I do, to the best of my ability I try and do my best. Sometimes, my best isn’t good enough and I have to learn to live with that.
Not very long ago, I realized, after I had done a personal inventory , that one of my roles I have adopted is the role of super hero. When I am the super hero, I do it all! I can manage everything with no help from anyone. That makes me powerful and in control! Or does it? When I took a closer look at my behavior I realized that there were serious negative consequences in doing so. I got really tired running and not stopping and when I got really tired I got really frustrated and when I got really frustrated I got really angry. This anger was most likely directed towards my children and maybe the dog. Finally, after a real episode of shouting and venting at everything before me, the shame and guilt would come in making me feel worthless. When I think of myself as a parent, the image that comes to me is often that of my mothers. She behaved very similarly growing up.
This behavior however, serves no one! Not myself and definitely not my children. What I had to realize was that I had to stop playing super hero, learn to say no sometimes, and relinquish my control of wanting to get everything right. There were some things that I simply couldn’t do and to admit that serves me better than to push myself to do things that are simply too much for me.
Finally, if you are reading this and you are a parent, I urge you please to learn to forgive yourself, as many times as you need to. Sometimes, I find that I have to forgive myself on a daily basis in order to be a more effective parent.