Pausing to listen to an airplane in the sky, stooping to watch a ladybug on a plant, sitting on a rock to watch the waves crash over the quayside - children have their own agendas and timescales. As they find out more about their world and their place in it, they work hard not to let adults hurry them. We need to hear their voices. ~Cathy Nutbrown
Lately, I've have to step back and ask myself: What is causing so much stress? Why am I clinging too tightly to my own agenda and losing patience for Avi's agenda? About a week ago, while walking to dinner, I found myself feeling easily frustrated as Avi was stopping to touch every bike parked along Pearl Street (and if you know Boulder, that's a lot of bikes). And instead of hurrying along Avi, I just projected my 'agenda' onto Jenn (sorry Jenn). "Please don't let him do that, those bike chains are greasy and his hands are getting dirty." and "Can't you help him along faster?" I was tired. And hungry. And cold. But instead of just honoring their moments together - and walking ahead on my own, I had to push my agenda onto them. In hindsight, I'm not very proud of myself as a parent or partner in that moment. And other moments like them. Lately, I haven't liked the stress-case that I have become. Having difficulty dealing with transitions. Pushing my own agenda onto the world. Melting down easily when things do go as planned. Being just plain grumpy. I'm thinking that this means I need to take some time for myself and look deeper. (And I need to sleep more).
Being a parent is hard work. It is stressful and exhausting and time consuming and can bring up all that was or wasn't good about one's own upbringing. But being a parent is also magical. And amazing and rewarding and awe-inspiring and phenomenal. My heart swells bigger everyday. I love watching Avi grow and being able to help guide him along his own path. And I'm glad Avi works hard to not allow me hurry him. But I don't want him to have to work so hard. I want to respect his agenda too. I need to pause... pause to listen... hear Avi's voice. Respect Avi's voice.
Maybe I should get a tattoo the above quote from Cathy Nutbrown's? Or paint it on a wall in my home?
What are ways that you realign yourself with your values when things feel stressful? How do you deal with times when you are not the parent you want to be?