Would it feel nice to hear someone tell you “Well done” right now?
Last night I was really tired but before I went to bed I made the effort to take the kids to the toilet. Well done Me.
This morning I had things to do for myself but first I quickly made some food because my little one was hungry. Well done Mama.
Today I felt SO irritated and hurt when one kept hitting the other. I wanted to shout and slam doors and stomp my feet. Instead I calmly went and removed him. I understood he was finding it difficult to control himself. I was managing to control myself. Well DONE Myself!
In an average day we parents achieve truly remarkable things. Selfless, kind, caring, INVISIBLE things. Each day, over and over, we are the change we want to see in the world. Ghandi would be proud. Yet, I don’t know about you, but I don’t really acknowledge my efforts very often – however I’m VERY quick to point out to myself where I lost it, where I didn’t manage, where I feel I’m not good enough.
It’s not good for the spirit, this behaviour.
If a child only hears what she’s doing wrong she gets discouraged. She feels bad about herself. She stops trying.
The truth is that, like you, I am actually doing very well. Yes, I am SO very far from perfect. Yes, I mess up all the time and I’m not saying I want my standards to drop so that I give myself leeway to shout at my children. That behaviour is still not ok with me – but dammit there are so many moments where I overcome the challenge. So many moments I am who I most want to be. I want those to count at least as much as the moments I don’t make it up the hill. Maybe more.
So well done, well done, WELL DONE parent! For all those huge little triumphs. There are so many of them every day, truly there are. You deserve to be honoured and cherished for all you do, for all the efforts you make.
Have doubts? Quick, right now name three things you did as a parent today that honoured who you most wish to be as a person.
This should be easy to do. You smiled, you were thoughtful of a child, you made breakfast, you helped a child in some way, you acknowledged and engaged with a child in a way that made them feel important… I know you did those things. Even on a really bad morning you will have done some of that – isn’t that amazing in and of itself? You are creating our world as you do that. I thank you for that world.
So have you acknowledged all the things you already did today? I hadn’t until right now.
Parenting is challenging. We deserve acknowledgement and encouragement. It’s much more effective than berating ourselves. However much you feel you are botching things up, at least acknowledge that you’re trying your best. And what do we say to a child who is trying her best?
At the end of each day, let’s think of all we did and honour our efforts and our huge little achievements. Let’s make this an encouraging and caring world.
Let’s say “Well done” – or some version of it – to ourselves this week each time we make a choice that honours our integrity, that honours who we want to be.
What do you say? Will you do it with me? And let me know how it goes?