On Friday night I went out for dinner with a group of my friends. We had such a great time chatting, chatting and more chatting and then we got onto the topic of parenting. It's amazing (and comforting) to know that we're all going through exactly the same things and have similar issues. When I got home I thought some more and started to wander what it would be like to parent without outside pressures or influences? What if there were no parenting books, magazines, parenting experts or friends or family members telling us what we "should" be doing? What if we just followed our heart and did what we felt was right for our children, for our own family? What if we trusted our children to do things in their own time rather than on a timeline that other children do? What if...?
Lately I have been challenging myself to try and parent this way. To follow my heart and block out the external pressures and do what I believe is right for my children. My aim is not to focus on the 'act' of parenting but to focus on the 'heart' of it. Actions without heart are useless. It's hard to let go of the influences and the pressures. It's hard to make decisions solely on what Martin and I think is 'right' and not on everything we have read, heard and seen.
Parenting is not easy. In fact, it's one of the most challenging 'jobs' I've ever had. No, I'm not referring to the physical side of it (the drop offs, the pick-ups, the sleepless nights), I am referring to the responsibility of it. The influence that we, as their parent's have on their lives is immeasurable. I am their role model and I want to be a good one - one that they're proud to call 'Mum', one that they can confide in, seek comfort in and one that they can have fun with. Man, it's hard, but I am doing my best and enjoying it as I go along on this road.
Try it, block out all that you see, hear and read and do what your heart tells you is right. Especially when you're having a day that's a bit rougher to get through.