Step outside of your day to day. Step out of changing diapers, and rocking children to sleep, and reading books, and cleaning up after a crazy toddler, and your tiredness that is thick as a dense fog. Step outside of this. Think. Take a moment or a couple and think. Do your actions follow your beliefs? Do your actions really exist as more than just reactions. We as parents need to be prepared. By prepared, I am not referring to knowing how this parenthood thing will go, or knowing everything about raising kids. I am referring to knowing your own direction, and your own values. Know who you are and what you are aiming for. Know the path that you want to walk this child of yours on. Have a picture in your mind broader than your current frame of vision.
This journey is wrought with twists and turns. My oldest is 2 and I have only begun to realize how my reactions to her behavior are not taking us down this path. Reacting is just not good enough. This turns into a dog chasing its tail. I can become so wrapped up in this game, that finding my bearings is seemingly impossible. A big thing for me is deciding in advance how I am going to react to her disobeying me. Every time, I know that I will immediately get pissed right back at her. So its very apparent that this situation quickly goes nowhere. I had to check myself and deliberately walk myself through the actions I would take when she veers off the path. She is becoming increasingly passionate with her disagreement as the days go by, further solidifying the need for my preparation. This has been a constant testing of will, a constant testing of boundaries, with an infectious smile. It is also a tremendous learning experience for the both of us in how to treat each other.
When it comes down to it. Its a shaking reality what we sign up for as parents. But the opportunity and the journey are remarkable. We can all be rest assured that it will take everything. It will take every drop of love, grit, and soul that you can wring out, I am sure. I believe we can help ourselves out a whole lot by seeking truth in our own journey. I believe we can give ourselves a leg up by clarifying where we find value, and what we believe deep down before we try to teach our children. Put some thought on the front end, do some work on yourself, and feel a bit more prepared when shit gets weird. We are responsible for who these small humans become. Our lives are the fabric that will weave their experiences, and begin to form them into the people they will become. Don’t get mad at them, learn how to channel the experience into growth for the both of you. It’s a hell of a change for some of us, I know its a constant battle for me. Best of Luck.