Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sing it, Pat Benatar

Love is most certainly a battlefield.

I have, on more than one occasion, referred parenting as 'in the trenches'. Parenting is not easy. I mean, think about it:

We are supposed to protect our child from harm while teaching them to be adventurous and try new things. We're not supposed to spank them (obviously) but some think we shouldn't ever yell at them either but we're supposed to teach them about safety- like "My little angel-face, please don't reach for that hot pan on the stove." Unlikely. We're going to say "NO!" and then explain, bla bla hot bla bla not safe. We're supposed to teach them not to throw tantrums or whine when they don't get what they want but you're also (especially with boys) supposed to teach them to embrace the full range of their emotions.
We love them and shower them with affection and praise whenever we can, but we don't want to give in to their every request and appease them all the time. We should run to them when they get hurt but also teach them to pick themselves up and dust themselves off.
Teaching the tiny humans to become big humans is an incredibly hard job. It's love. It's a battlefield.

I have not been fabulous at this really difficult job. I take that back. I'm a great mother and I'm proud of how I'm raising my kids, but it doesn't mean I don't find it all to be incredibly trying.

In yoga we understand that the divine, the universal, God is in everything. The flower that is just starting to bloom, when your toddler says "I love you, you're my best friend." when a baby smiles at you for the first time. The divine is also in the 3am crying fit, the tantrum, the eye-roll. I was in yoga class last night when I realized this. Last night's long drawn out wake up wasn't exactly fun but by remembering that there is something divine in this moment helped it not become a source of great frustration.


Kate said...

I hear ya. Yesterday afternoon we were at the pool and these two adorable but very rambunctious little girls accidentally knocked Liam down and because they didn't realize what was happening banged him a few more times. He was quite upset and although he calmed down quickly after I scooped him up he didn't want me to set him back down in the water. One of the hardest things I've had to do as a parent was to take him into the deeper water and make sure he spent at least a little time in the water post knockdown even though he was scared and didn't want to. Stuff like this is so important though; my best friend growing up walked into the water over her head at a lake when she was two and as a result was afraid of the water and didn't learn to swim until she was a teenager!

Emily said...

So true. We're always seeking the balance to both challenge and support them (which is an entire theory of student development in higher education... I knew that masters would come in handy someday!)

Grace said...

beautifully put. such a relationship filled with irony & paradox, isn't it?!

love your new header... your boys in their matching flannel shirts? OMEGEE!!!!

Emily said...

Thanks, Grace. Totally jealous of that hammock you're relaxing in!!!