It was Friday night. Mark and I were sitting out back feeling the calm breeze running across our cheeks. It felt like we were at the ocean. It is times like these, that we often reflect on where we are, where we are going, and all the in between.
I shared that I was ready to make some improvements. First, I recognized that I needed to stop the love affair that I was having with my phone. Seriously. The phone needs to not be an active member of our family. It makes me sad to think that my kids have to compete with an electronic device.
As I came up with my plan on how to dramatically decrease my phone use, my thoughts traveled deeper. I acknowledged that time feels as though it is racing at the speed of light. How is my baby almost 4; wasn’t she just born?
I began to think about what is most important to me. Where do I want to devote my efforts? It is clear that my family is my top priority. Every decision involves how it will effect Mark and the girls. I made a huge career move a couple of years back to better our family life. I will continue to make adjustments in order to give them the best of me.
My brain automatically started to think about some past decisions. Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten upset over the obligatory pasta sauce on white pants hug. Maybe I shouldn’t have raised my voice. Maybe I should have phrased my sentence differently. Should I have held them more? Did I start solids too soon? Do my girls know that I love them with everything I have? What if they don’t feel this?
I came out of my daze and said to Mark, “I’m afraid they can’t tell?” He laughed and asked me to elaborate. I explained how I want the girls to feel unconditional love. I want them to feel confident enough to take a big leap of faith knowing that I have their back. I want them to feel that any burden they may bare, is mine too. Every heartache they feel is mine too. Every joy is mine. Can they feel this?
I’m afraid they can’t tell is a thought that I automatically generated. It left me feeling uneasy. So, I began to think about all of the evidence that supported the idea that my girls can tell. The fact that both girls are completely honest with me, suggests confidence and trust in our relationship. But, here is the reality. I cannot control how they feel.
Think about this. If we let go of the idea that we can control how others feel, then we will save ourselves a lot of stress and anxiety. Our focus can then be shifted toward working on ourselves. Showing up as our best self is all we can really do. How this is interpreted by others is really out of our control. Please note- this concept applies to children too!
I am shifting my focus to being the best mom I can. I want to put the phone down. I want to be present and engaged and fun. I want to be spontaneous and create excitement and joy. I want to be the mom that is not afraid to cry in front of her kids because this will inevitably lead to questions. And…questions are good. We can support our kids through their emotions so that they can develop healthy coping mechanisms.
The day I became a mom, my world changed. Being a mom is what I value most. I am not perfect, but I want to be the best that I can be. I can’t control my girls’ feelings. But, I can teach them to embrace their feelings. I can teach them to show up as their best selves so that they can be positive rays of light intermixed with the infinite number of feelings that they will never be able to control.