The past hour I’ve been trying to (mindfully, of course!) make dinner, go through the mail, empty the lunch boxes, organize the things I bought at CVS…and I’ve got nothing done. I’ve been busy playing a game of Ping-Pong. No, I haven’t been hanging out in my garage with a beer and a small paddle in hand. Rather, I’ve actually been the ball in this game of Ping-Pong, between my two daughters, going back and forth, back and forth through a series of, “Mom, can you come here?” and “Mom, I need help!” My daughters are 7½ and 10 years old. They are very capable; I’ve raised them to be this way. For years they have been very self-sufficient: both of my girls have made their beds, gotten themselves dressed, washed up, and cleaned their room, put away their laundry, and can make themselves breakfast…just to name a few of their independent abilities. I know they are capable beings. So why is it that I find myself so frustrated when they are constantly, and I mean constantly, asking me to “Come here?”
I am a really good mom: I work at being patient; I try not to raise my voice; I guide them to be their best selves; I honor their uniqueness; I’m fun and we have dance parties; I cook with them; and I snuggle them in their beds. But I think what makes me the best mom I can be is that I practice mindfulness.
I breathe. I strive at being present. I am aware of when I get caught up in my own “stuff.” I practice responding and not reacting. I try to stay connected to my intentions.
So, when being mindful, I judge myself for getting annoyed when they ask for help all the time. I think I get frustrated because it appears that they are not attempting at slowing down, stopping to think, and trying to solve the problem on their own. I have tried teaching them this; oh believe me, I am all about the teachable moments...
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