This Is Gratitude Day 7: Who Wants To Be A Super Parent?
There is no other way to say this. Parenting is a beautiful but brutal endeavor. Sure, there are the great moments. The moments we all share with the world. Photos go up on social media for all to admire. They show the profound love we feel for our offspring. There are heart moving milestones such as birthdays, times of success like graduations and seconds of just living in joy like a first bike ride. These moments carry us to tomorrow, but as parents, we all know these snapshots are like shooting stars. They are brief and momentary. Most of our parenting is spent tinkering and working just to keep our stars shining brightly in the sky.
I want to be clear about the love I have for my children. It is intertwined with my being. Like strands of rope braided together, my kids make up the strength that lives inside of me. It keeps me going in this crazy world. I would never say my little beings are my everything. That statement would imply my children are somehow separate from me. They are a part of me at every turn, and I am a part of them. Our spirit, being, souls, whatever we call it, are bound together for eternity.
That must be why they drive me mad.
That must be why they make me yell at them after asking them twenty times to place shoes on their feet.
That must be why they challenge my patience and understanding every day.
That must be why they leave the sink running, so it overflows and damages the floor.
That must be why they fed the dog a whole plate of lemon bars when I was in the shower.
That must be why when I say, "Hurry up we are late for school!"; they become slow as sloths.
That must be why I am exhausted all the time.
That must be why they make me question if I am a good parent but more importantly a great human being.
It doesn't matter how much we love our children. At every turn, someone tells us we are doing this parenting thing wrong. Someone is pushing back and showing us we are not enough. We don't have the right skills, expertise or education to grow our children into productive members of society.
Just ask our kids.
In their actions, they silently writing us notes in the margins:
"I'm not going to pick up my room EVER!" Margin note: You just haven't told me in the RIGHT way how to pick up my room.
"I can't stop screaming and throwing a tantrum inside this store!" Margin note: You apparently should be reading yet another book on parenting.
"Grandma is way more fun than you, Mom." Margin note: You should talk to Grandma about how to love me. She does it right.
As parents, we feel our kids challenge our abilities. More than anyone, the doubt kids provide begins to fray the strand of us. The line that ties us together becomes weak, and the rope starts to fall apart. We then begin to see the challenge of parenting is that it requires an extensive examination into the human condition. In this process, we realize we might be flawed and lack the power needed to make our kids whole. We come to the realization we are not superhuman.
Or are we?
I was talking to my friend and fellow alumni from the altMBA program, Dr. Robert Zeitlin. Beside his warm, generous, positivity personality, Dr. Robert wrote a thoughtful and short book called "Laugh More, Yell Less: A Guide to Raising Kick-Ass Kid." As Positive Psychologist he believes that each of us contains a unique set of superpowers. As parents, if we take some time to recognize these powers, we can use them as a tool box for parenting. It's an interesting idea.
What if as parents, we are enough including our flaws? In fact, what if we contain all the superpowers needed to make our kids superpowered too?
I'm going to throw on my cape and read more up on my superpowers. How about all you Super Parents out there? What are your superpowers?
With gratitude Super Humans of today and tomorrow.