There is an old cliché about how raising kids is like a circus and it does seem that there are quite a few similarities. I can easily recall several times when my house seemed to be filled with tigers, monkeys and bears leaving a trail of destruction in their wake as they raced around the house jumping through hoops. (The hoops THEY wanted to jump through, not the ones I was cracking my whip for). One afternoon my son (who maybe thought he was an elephant?) decided to bring the hose in from outside and water my leather couch. That was definitely NOT “the greatest show on earth.”
Like the real circus, mine is also filled with wonder and awe. I get to watch them hit some cool milestones and do good things like befriending an outsider, or learning a tough piano piece….and I have to say there is quite the entertainment factor as well. Yesterday my five-year-old said, “Hey Mom, let’s play Simon says. I’ll be Simon.” “Simon says go get me an Iron Man mask and get rid of my job chart!” HA!
Maybe you are running a different circus than the parenting one. It seems like most everyone’s life can have a “circus-like” feel to it at times. What tools do you use to help you deal with some of the glitches that occur in your “show”? I have noticed that if I take a step back, I can see repetitive happenings that seem to trip me up……where I’m consistently frustrated or impatient (like when my kids all try to talk to me at the same time….everyday). The best tool I have found for helping me practice being the kind mom they deserve, is prayer. Seems simple enough. I have personally used prayer in my life for decades---but I started doing a new little experiment a while back. When I knew a patience test was coming, I would say a prayer beforehand and again in the middle of the challenge. I would say a prayer in my mind asking God for help to stay calm, patient, and to know what to say and do to be kind. What happened was that when I remembered to do this, I was able to handle those moments better and therefore spend less energy on them (and all the negativity that comes with it). I was able to move through those challenges more easily and focus more on all the good and enjoyable things about my life.
When I forget to do this, I go back to a much higher frustration level. When I remember to ask God for help, He consistently helps. It’s the most simple, amazing tool for a better quality of life that I know of. Have you ever tried an experiment like that? You really have nothing to lose but some impatience and anger.
Contributor - Jenny Packard