What kind of example do we want to be?

I am positive that I am not always the best example, or even a good example to my children some of the time.

It is hard being a stay at home parent. My boys are with me all of the time and see all manner of outrageous behavior form me, both good and bad. We were at the grocery store the other day, and I was in a rush. I am not sure why, we didn’t have anywhere to be. It was like a feeling of being lost and in a hurry to get somewhere that was more important than where I was. Since I had this feeling surging through my mind, I “tried” the self-check-out so I could get out of the store sooner. Not a good idea! I could feel myself exploding and there wasn’t any way for me to stop, at least at that moment. I was pissed off!

My boys do exactly what I did when I was their age and my parents were off on an “adult” temper tantrum (let’s just call it what it really is). They stood there wide eyed and confused while it played out. Something in my mind clicked right there – “they learn by watching idiot!”. It was too late. I was going down that slippery slide and I couldn’t stop. Inside I just wanted to cry at that moment, even with the holiday music blasting in the background.

When we got in the car my oldest asked me what had happened. I fully admitted I was being an idiot and I let my emotions take over. Even though I think I did a great job explaining this negative experience it probably would have been better to just not have gone through it.

Or would it? Maybe when they see it, they can better understand and maybe not react the same way I do.

I am one of the worst people when it comes to getting stuck inside my own head. What about this or that, never anything really important. I beat myself up about the way I do things. I think it is hard for parents that want the best for their kids but also have a predilection for over thinking. We over analyze everything. Am I providing enough stimulation, too much, will my flip out scar them for life or do they need to see that no one is perfect? My struggle is real as it is for parents everywhere. We have to be able to stop beating ourselves up over being human. I am sure that my boys have seen me in my pissed off mode more than just that one time, but I think it is something we all can learn from. If we hide these experiences, then isn’t that like pretending they don’t happen? Won’t that then make us feel like we have to hide all negative experiences and not really deal with them?

I want to show my boys how to identify and deal with their emotions. To be more giving and appreciate the fortunate life we have. Although I am still learning myself, it doesn’t mean we can’t learn together. We all have to help each other learn how to care for ourselves physically and emotionally within our family unit. I feel like I tend to hide from those erratic emotions once the storm has passed. But I am doing my best to be more aware of my negative emotions, to be a better example for my boys.

When I am putting my oldest to bed, I normally lay with him until he falls asleep. I lay there quietly and close my eyes. When I know he is looking at me, I smile, the biggest smile. I smile like I am having the best dream of all. I am and I don’t want it to end. For that one moment after a long day, I hope he follows my example and smiles into his dreams and hopefully that smile will continue throughout his lifetime.

At the end of the day I am thankful for everything, good and bad.
I hope you had a happy holiday season, cheers!