What if you could look in the mirror?
How many times have you snapped at your child and then regretted it? Have you ever had an interaction with your child that did not go the way you hoped it would, leaving you both feeling sad, disappointed or angry? What if you could look in the mirror when you are in the middle of yelling at your child? Who would you see looking back at you?
An eye-opening sight
The idea to write about this topic came to me this week when I was waiting in the drop-off line at my children’s school. There was a mom behind me who was clearly agitated about having to wait in the line. Even though I could not hear what she was talking about, her body language spoke a thousand words. She was shifting constantly in the driver’s seat, she had a grumpy scowl on her face, and when she spoke I could see a snarl on her mouth.
I watched this woman in the rear-view mirror and wondered what was bothering her. Did she fear her child would be late to school? Was she late to work? Was she just like this all the time?
What does the child see?
I thought next about her child in the back seat. I could only see the child’s hair, so I don’t know how old the child was or if it was a boy or a girl. But I felt sad for this child. I was sad that this child had to be exposed to this kind of tense, angry energy on his/her way to school. And from his/her mom no less. Then I just I felt sad for the mom. Sad that she was in such a state of irritation.
What I knew clearly is that this was no way to arrive at school in the morning.
This was all-too-familiar
Perhaps I was so touched by this scene in my rear-view mirror because I used to be that mom. Back then, I was stressed and miserable more often than I was not. Three young kids and far too much on my plate with working part-time, running a charity, volunteering at my kids’ schools and all the other things I was trying to do made things stressful.
I snapped at my kids often.
I was frustrated and irritable.
And then it happened.
My “Mirror Moment”
One day I was yelling at my older son about something and I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and it stopped me in my tracks. I did not recognize or want to be the person looking back at me. She looked like a scary monster. She was unhappy and angry. I was literally shocked.
Is this what my children saw when they looked at me???
That was what I like to call the Beginning of My Parenting. It was that shocking moment when I knew something had to change. Parenting had not been enjoyable up to that point and my beautiful, amazing children were certainly not getting the best of me. They sure were not getting what they deserved.
It was then that I dove deeply into learning how to become the parent I yearned to be. It was then that I found my dear friend and mentor, Dr. Shefali. It was then that I began to understand how important it was to take care of myself. It was then that I began to try to bring mindfulness into my daily life. And then that I began writing all of this stuff down to try to make sense of it.
The evolution I went through was nothing short of incredible. I and my children are so much better for it. Now, I help other parents find that same joy and deep connection with their children.
My passion is to help others develop a fulfilling relationship with their children just as I have with mine.
I created a free worksheet for how to work through power struggles with your child if this is where you are struggling.
>>> Fill out the form below to get my FREE download, Overcoming Power Struggles with Your Child <<<
I also created a free worksheet for bringing a mindfulness practice into your life if this is what you are looking to do.
>>> Fill out the form below to get my FREE Box Breathing Worksheet <<<
Our children are precious. And so are we. They deserve the best version of ourselves we can give them. And we deserve to be the best version of ourselves we can be. Wouldn’t you agree?
If you agree but can’t figure out how to do it, contact me. I can help you.