Thursday, January 15, 2015

Begin Again

I was reading some of the posts I wrote this time last year, and noticed a theme. So, I looked back to the year before and the year before and I see it again. This time of year, the January and February posts, are a lot of pep talks to myself. Spelling out my goals, reminding myself of some simple truths,  and identifying where I can stand to focus more attention. It must be the time of year, I figure. Winter's cold days and dark nights calling me to turn inward, to not lose sight of where I'm going. 

Twins, much? 
I've been feeling like that lately. For a few weeks, something felt off. I read a parenting book when I felt exasperated in late December, and it left me feeling like I was completely ruining my kids (which is ironic, given the title), so I threw it against the wall and promised never again to look in a book for an answer better found in my heart. I started listing so many new goals for myself in the new year, big daunting ones like "no more anger," and "be even-keeled with the kids" that I began feeling like a failure most days. I needed to remind myself that aiming to be more patient and to slow my reactions aren't goals I will ever achieve with perfection, this year or any. They are just things to practice.

In looking back over the last few Januaries and Februaries I am reminded of the simple place I started. When Hailey and Robin were born, I cleared out everything that wasn't necessary to our daily survival. Slowly, over the years, I built from there. I added in family outings, craft mornings, baking bread with my little girls, little activities that became part of our normal. Somewhere along the line, though, I regarded those things as necessary. I felt like a failure if I spent another morning of -30 weather watching a movie with the girls instead of doing something more "interactive." Kids watch too much TV, right?


But, who cares? If the bread doesn't get baked, we can pull out a loaf of store-bought stuff from the freezer. If we don't paint pictures tomorrow morning, we'll play blocks or watch a movie or whatever else we want! As I do this time each year, I need to remind myself that there's no one watching me. No one really cares how good a mom I am, in terms of enriching activities and a homemade lifestyle. What's important is making my girls feel understood, important, and loved. If I don't act like the best version of myself today, I will ask forgiveness, wipe the slate clean and try again tomorrow. I will keep working towards goals I may never achieve. That does not make me a failure. The journey towards that place is what's important.

So, I begin again. Trying to remember a few things I will probably need to be reminded of this time next year, again.
One thing at a time.
Smile, breathe, and go slow.
My love is bigger than anger.
Be the calm in a storm.
Wait to react.
Show them you're listening.
Make time to sit quietly and process.
Show appreciation, and stop to feel it.

1 comment:

  1. I love each photo that you chose to put in this post.
    Lovely words and images.


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