Change the Narrative
I’ve decided I’m not reading any more articles about why parents are so tired/stressed/terrible at friendship/*insert other negative associations here*. And I’d like to explain why.
These articles seem helpful. It seems like they are validating the hard part about being a parent. Maybe parents don’t always sleep through the night/call people back/relax EVER. Yes, that’s ok, but it doesn't need to be the focus. There is a season for everything and parents, especially in certain stages, may not have the energy to do it all. THAT’S OK. But lets not encourage those feelings. Instead, why can’t we encourage one another to be our best selves despite the tough stuff? After all, we are the lucky ones who have children to be exhausted and stressed out for. We are the lucky ones. Not everyone is given the chance to be sleep deprived, anxious, isolated and LOVED the way a parent is.
I have always functioned more efficiently with positive feedback. One of my goals for all of life is to handle criticism with a bit more grace, but if it is balanced with something positive, it is always easier to take. I think many of us are that way. As a society, we are so harsh on ourselves and on each other. But where does that leave us? Does it take away the exhaustion or anxiety of parenting? Or does it contribute to it? I know it does nothing to empower me as a mother.
Let’s change the narrative and lift each other up. My faith tells me that there is nothing more powerful than loving my neighbor and to me, that means lifting up those around me rather than feeding their feelings of failure. Just to clarify, that does NOT mean we should not have empathy when someone is seriously struggling. Instead of saying, “Yeah, that’s parenting for ya! And it won’t get any better!” Let’s try bringing that person a latté or offering a night of free babysitting, or leaving an anonymous bouquet of flowers at their front door with a note of encouragement.
In 2017, I want to be a better version of myself. So I’m swearing off negative articles about parenting. They don’t help me one little bit. Who’s with me? I’d love to hear your goals for 2017 in the comments to this post! And let’s lift each other up as much as possible in those comments, yes?