The 4 P’s of Parenting
Children teach us who we are and who we want to be.
In many ways, having a second child has been much easier than having the first. (Even though I am still not sleeping much:)
Remember the definition of grief that we use in at the Grief Recovery Institute? “The end of or change in a familiar patter of behavior.” Well the second time around, the changes are far fewer than in round 1… for me at least. We are just more set up now than we were with Ayla.
However, having Kai has just magnified many of the feelings and experiences I had with Ayla; I was just too busy to notice before.
I want to share the 4p’s of parenting… reflections on what I have learned.
1) Patience. You can do anything you want with kids, it just takes a lot longer. So if you can build in extra time to reduce stress, you and everyone else will be much happier. In order for them to develop, I have to be patient and let them (particularly my 3 year old) do things for themselves….which takes longer.
2) Priorities. What matters most has become incredibly clear since their arrival (physical and emotional health and well-being are at the top of the list).
3) Presence. If I am going to pay someone else to watch my kid(s), even part of the time, I better get my work done so that when they get home I can be attentive. All my kids seem to want is my attention, and I want to give it to them. If I can put away my devices and say yes to them when they are around, it is good for all of us.
4) Perseverance. Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. If I am to be the best mom I can be, I must persevere. The hardest thing about parenting, in my opinion, is how constant it is.
If this is resonating for you, and you feel like you fall short in any of these categories (I know I do, sometimes), please remember to have compassion for yourself. Being a parent is challenging at any stage. We must be kind to ourselves first in order to lead by example.
If you struggle to have self-compassion, please check out my #1 best-selling book The Compassion Code: How to say the right thing when the wrong thing happens. I offer really simple ways for you to grow your self-compassion which can help you grow your compassion for others, as well.