The day I saw my daughter raise her voice at her baby doll was the day I was reminded that my daughter is a reflection of me. If ever I need to gauge the quality of my behavior, I can observe my daughter's behavior. My daughter is so affectionate, courageous, bubbly and friendly! Yes, I totally take credit for that because I hold those qualities as a person. However, my daughter is also temperamental, overly emotional, and sensitive. Whoa... where could she have gotten that from? Grant it, kids have their own personality, however, it derives from our influence before the world gets to them. I realized that watching this beautiful girl develop and come into her own was more a gift to me than it is to her. She is a constant reminder that though there are amazing things about my personality, there are also not so amazing things about my personality.
At times, I am a drama queen. Not in the scandalous sense, thriving in conflict but in the sense of cueing the theatrics and crying over spilled milk. Overwhelmed with housework, kids breaking things, my husband leaving his pants in the middle of a freshly vacuumed floor and other normalcies coming to a head, I've in turn had crying fits and she has witnessed her mommy do this. Or, one moment being so positive and hopeful and the next moment grabbing my head as if all hope is lost. She has witnessed her mommy do this. She has witnessed her mommy fussing at her daddy and her brother, let alone her. I have the nerve to question where she gets her drama from, right?
We as parents can't just take credit for the good in our children, but we have to acknowledge the part we play in the not so good. Not to feel bad about the quality of people we are because with the bad comes the good, but to actively work to adjust the not so good things about us. Parenting is not just for the child, it's for the parent as well. Our children are little reminders of the quality of people we are in general. Are we kind enough? Are we patient enough? Are we settled in our emotions? Are we enduring? We, however, can't neglect to look at those amazing traits within our children inherited from us and not hold ourselves accountable to maintain and preserve those traits. Am I still affectionate, courageous, bubbly and friendly?
Take the bits of misbehaving as subtle reminders to be on your best behavior. When done right, as a result of adjusting our behavior, we are impressing that same behavior upon our children. It's a humbling experience. We don't always want to admit the behavior being displayed is a learned behavior from us. We owe it to our little ones to act upon those subtle reminders. They are counting on us to show them how to manage in this world of sin. More importantly, how to maintain the best parts of ourselves.
"Do as I say and not as I do" is a disservice to the parenting experience. We have to be all in, leading by example. That comes with great sacrifice as sometimes we'd prefer to react how we feel! Say what we want, do what we want and treat others as deserved. It, however, is not worth the collateral damage...
Be grateful for your little reminders. We need them more than they need us as they are the narrative to who we are as individuals.
Here's to being well while functioning.