Stop Your Guilt!
Christmas and Easter, the two holidays that remind me how fast my kids are growing up. Soon I will have to release them into the world and hope they make good choices. What a scary thought! Have I prepared them enough? Will they have healthy relationships? Is their life going to be successful? After I freak myself out with questions and “what ifs”, I think about all the things I need to teach them. A whole new freak out moment of self-doubt and overwhelm wash over me.
I recently had a personal situation remind me how much of a role model we are for our children, good or bad, whether we want to be or not. Do we talk more about the size of our thighs than standing up to bullies? Do we constantly complain about a situation but choose to do nothing? Sometimes I feel like starting a savings account not for college, but therapy. I think we as mothers constantly question how much we are messing up our children.
It is often said our children’s first teacher are the most influential adults in their young life. This all boils down to being a role model. I don’t have to worry so much about all the things they need to learn because if I model the behavior I want to teach, they will pick up on it (not to mention make me a better human). On the flip side, if I model behavior I don’t want to perpetuate, they pick up on that also. I am sure we all have funny stories of a toddler repeating our bad behavior. This encourages me to live a very intentional life. I don’t have the luxury of flying off the handle and punching a wall when I really, REALLY want to. I have eight eye balls watching me, taking mental notes. That would be far too many holes I would have to waste my time patching. These eight eye balls are my accountability, Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder. I know the exact look in their eyes when I mess up and they are questioning me without words. As they are getting older, that look is being replaced by words. Phew, truth can sting, especially from young ones!
Let’s stop passing around the collection plate taking therapy donations. Give yourself room to make mistakes, no can be perfect. When you fall, pick yourself up, make it right with whomever you need to, and resolve to do better. That speaks volumes to your children! It is never too late to back the ship up, do the right thing, and be an example.
Picture your kids in 10, 20 years. What do you hope their life looks like? Now, look at yourself and make a list. What can you model to teach them the skills they will need? Remember, they listen more to our actions, than our words. Take that list and tape it to your bathroom mirror as an intention to set every morning.
What one gynormous lesson do you hope your kids will carry with them?