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Thursday, June 1, 2017

From their perspective...

I saw this on the interwebs the other day and it literally brought tears to my eyes.

And then I read this - an old article by Katie Blackburn on a popular motherhood blog, Coffee and Crumbs, that hit the nail on the head.  

 In an effort to be the perfect parent I want to be, I'm often harder on myself than I probably deserve. Three kids under six is tough. There just isn't enough of me, physically or mentally, to be everything I want to be for my children. I often feel guilty that I don't get to do all the things I wish I could with each one of them and the excuse of us just having too many children just doesn't seem fair to them, as true as it may be.

I have a hell of a support system, one that affords me the luxury of creating some one-on-one (or at least occasionally one-on-two) time with my kiddos and it's still hard. I try to carve out time with each of them, sometimes to do stuff that needs to get done (school projects, practicing reading), sometimes to just spend the quality time I feel is necessary for them to have with their parent (a Starbucks date, watching a show together). The baby doesn't get a whole lot of one-on-one time right now, but that will come with time.

A teacher at our preschool once told me that it's important not to worry about being fair and giving every child an equal amount of attention, but to make sure you're giving the child that needs attention what they need in that moment. And it's true. 

The aforementioned article and video were refreshing to me, for as silly and obvious as it sounds, I'd never looked at a typical day with my kids from any perspective other than my own. At the end of a hard day, when I'd go to bed feeling like an inadequate mother, I never thought about the positive things they may have taken away from that day's life lessons.

One of the best parts of our bedtime routine is when I ask the boys what was their favorite part of the day. I think it's such a great way to get them to open up about what makes them happy, their current interests, likes and dislikes. It's fascinating how different their answers can be; and sometimes they surprise me by talking about something I completely forgot even happened.

This parenting thing ain't easy. Trying to raise three very different kids to hopefully become decent human beings who can make a positive contribution to society, all the while having no clue what you're doing and hoping you aren't messing them up is challenging, to say the least.

But taking a step back and seeing things from their perspective is a refreshing reminder that some good can come out of even the most difficult of days and not to be so hard on yourself as a parent.

I think this is something every parent could be reminded of every once in awhile ;-)

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