I’ve had it and I’ve decided that I’m rewriting the rules to Conscious Parenting.
This weekend, Sheldon was working so Little E and I had the whole day on Saturday and Sunday to ourselves. We spent some of it running errands, getting groceries the usual stuff that gets done on a weekend.
But on Sunday afternoon, Little E was SUPPOSED to be napping but wasn’t. I managed to get on my reformer for a little Pilaties workout and then I could hear him giggling as he was pretending to read his books. I couldn’t help myself, I decided to go in his room and see what was so funny.
Anyone with a toddler knows that this decision means:
“NAP TIME IS OVER,” Your kid is up, and there is no way you can undo them seeing you.
But I wanted to be there more than I wanted another 20 minutes to myself, so I walked in his room.
There he was sitting on his bed, so proud of himself for looking at his books and being where I had left him, I just had to climb in with him. We spent the next half hour or so giggling together, him showing me his favourite pages, and stuffy’s.
And then there was a moment when I managed to take a deep breath to take it all in.
“This is what it’s about, this is conscious parenting.”
Some times I cringe when I hear the word conscious parenting because most of the time I think it’s a label that’s thrown out there to ensure that yet again we as mothers and parents don’t measure up. Frankly we’re so worried that were going to screw up our kids that this is just another way we can ensure we have something to blame ourselves for when they end up in therapy.
As I was I thinking about this and the ideals we aspire to, I began to examine what I thought was the ultimate conscious parent. Here’s a glimpse of what I came up with.
Always calm and open, ready to hear her child’s every need for attention, never reactionary
Always prepared with a multitude of Gluten Free, Organic Snacks and food (it’s the only food she lets them eat)
– Never, I repeat never on her phone when her children are in the room
Could spend every waking minute with her children with focused attention
Constantly talking about the Universe and Divinity Within to her children so that they’re more enlightened than any other child or human being on this planet thus far.
I could go on, but I won’t because I already feel terrible….and I notice that there are a lot of “SHOULD’S” in there.
In essence, I have subscribed to the idea that a conscious parent is also the most perfect women. Because this version of me is also a size 2, hair and make-up is always spot on and has the perfect life. Talk about setting myself up for failure.
The truth is;
There are days when I can’t wait for nap or bed time.
My kid eats wheat, (shock and horror) but it happens now and then, and I’m okay with it.
When I’ve already watched the same episode of Paw Patrol for the millionth time I peruse Facebook and check Instagram instead.
Sometimes I raise my voice, again it happens and often it’s necessary as I won’t be heard otherwise.
Quite honestly, if I stuck to my version of what a conscious parent and empowered mother looked like, I actually failed the from the first moment of Little E’s life.
It was medically impossible to do delayed cord clamping, Little E wasn’t immediately placed on my chest at his delivery, he was surrounded by a team of paediatricians to open his air-way. His first suckle was Sheldon’s finger, not my nipple. We never co-slept. Due of a lot of reasons I didn’t breast feed for very long, and now, my child goes to full-time day care and I’ve shared on a million occasions that I’m so thankful for this fact.
From the labels that we subscribe to and the expectations that we place on ourselves, more often that not, we set ourselves up for failure. For the longest time, I was trying to mother perfectly, my perfect version of consciously, and somewhere I would falter, and I would beat myself up. And for what?
Little E is okay, I do the best that I can each day, and we start over with a new day.
I’m not perfect, and when I’m trying to act or perform in a particular way, of course it comes from a place where I want to do the best I can for my son, but truthfully it’s also so that I can impress someone and possibly be better than them too. A trait that I do not want my child to mirror out in this world.
So, my new version of Conscious parenting, looks a little like this.
To me, Conscious Parenting, means I make conscious choice about how I raise my son. Period.
Here are some of my choices:
We use our imagination, play with boxes, paints and material that allows us to create
We eat good food that nourishes our body in a 80/20 model of moderation
When Little E is at day care, aside from work, I take time for myself to move my body, treat myself to a pedicure and catch up with friends or just nap and read a book. My Time, My Choice
There are naps and quiet time in our house so that we all have a little down time
I HAVE NOTHING TO PROVE TO ANYONE.
You have nothing to prove to me or anyone else as well.
I invite you to consider the ways in which you parent or judge your parenting and rewrite your own rules. What does Conscious Parenting look like to you? Are their any rules that you have been trying to uphold that just don’t work for you?
In the comments I would love to hear about your choices, perhaps we can all come up with a few ideas together.
photo credit header image Stefan Makwana Photography
additional photography Tracy Griffiths @agapestudios.ca