Thursday, 2 April 2015

Do you parent out of fear?

Parenting. It's subjective. It's contextual. It's spiritual. It's personal. It's complex.

Choices. We all have them. Some more than others. Some people make better choices than others. A revelation came to me that a lot of my choices are made out of fear.

I recently started to allow my children to walk half of the way to school by themselves. I feel like my area is a safe one, with lots of other students and parents around and along the way. I want my children to feel capable and responsible. I want my children to know that I trust them to do the right thing, especially when mummy isn't there. I want them to develop basic skills and confidence with such things as crossing a busy road.

And then there is news of a teenage girl who was randomly attacked on her walk through the park and died. And we're back to high alert.

After this photo was taken my daughters let go and started to yell "Look mummy no hands!" Which gave me a total heart attack. 

Life is all about balance. So, what does that mean for my girls and my desire to foster some independence and confidence, while trying to protect them? I might just have to remind myself that they are still kids. Lisa at Mumma Scribbles posted a wake up call for me regarding leaving kids home alone. It all ties in with that whole giving them independence and teaching them responsibility against supervision and duty of care.

The whole sleepover thing is beginning to poke its head out of the ground. We don't do them. Other families don't do them either. It just seems to be that it's a scary world out there. But speaking of scary, I'm scary at times. My children are scared of me, it's the ugliest truth but it is what it is. I guess you could call me a bully.

I guess even though I have the best of intentions the actions and results do not always reflect them. Call me a pessimist but parenting from an angle of love instead of fear sounds harder than it should be. If I were to describe my ideal relationship with my girls it would be a caring, respectful and open connection. If I were to describe the relationship as it stands, its quite conflicting, abrasive and turbulent.

The conflict could possibly reside from my unrealistic expectations and my children's unmet needs to feel loved, respected and heard. Wow this post is getting heavy. But the job of being a mother is exactly that, it's heavy. It requires a lot of you. Sometimes it feels as though it requires more than you are equipped for. Sometimes your best is, children ate something today and house is still standing.

I am yet to shower today...

I mean, what is the worst that can happen? What am I really afraid of?

I've been trying to ask myself these questions at times when I think, if something doesn't get done the world will fall apart (or I will drop all these balls that I seem to be juggling) or when I know I could handle a situation differently, or why I tell my daughter to be careful every time she tried to hop on the a different part of the playground. I came across this post from the blog Perfect Joyful Life titled "Parenting out of love: Do you need a coach?" I mean to be honest, the blog name kind of gnawed at my sides, probably because I would hardly describe my everyday situation as a perfect joyful life. But she highlights 10 parenting pearls, which I can see my family benefiting from immensely! Especially consistency. That is definitely something I need to work on.

Those silly high expectations and my fear of the worst seem to continue to plague my ability to mother as best as I can. Let's round out this post by wishes of joy, peace and clarity for my family and yours.

Step 88,

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