I’ve had many responses to my last post “Sitting with Sophia”. I wrote it because it was a sweet moment that became available between Sophia and I, but I do not want to proliferate the image that this is how we should always be as parents or that it is always possible. That would be unkind to ourselves.
Parenting comes with many ups and downs. I have had moments of being brought to my knees in anger, frustration and sadness. There have been moments where that has been directed at my girls as well. Parentings has all aspects of the good, bad and ugly. A sweet friend of mine said, “I often consider how much of the world loves a positive attitude and demonizes the smallest departure from it, while the good, the bad, and the ugly are us”.
I think one of the biggest things I learn through parenting is self-acceptance – especially to accept the moments where I am impatient, reactive and, for the lack of a better word, mean. It is not easy to sit with the shadow side of parenting, but so important to not further criticize ourselves for not always meeting our ideals.
I am thankful for the moments where I show up softly. I sit with the moments I become harsh and hard. Sometimes I have to sit with that for days before it passes. Negating any one part as bad only creates further division within my whole, very human self. Perhaps the unconditional love we feel for our kids is something we can learn to offer ourselves. And by no means is it easy work.