I love being a mom! Of all the exciting things I’ve done in my life to date–travel, study and live abroad, a move to California at the age of 22, Teach for America, an incredible wedding by the beach in LA followed by a honeymoon in Africa–becoming a mom was hands down the most incredible and singularly life-changing experience. Here are a few of the ABC’s of Parenting that I’ve learned about modern day parenting.
A: Acceptance. Accept your child (and yourself!) Each human being is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses. When we begin our parenting journey from a place of acceptance, we are teaching our children to love and value themselves just the way they are.
B: Balance. I’ve written often in this blog about my own struggle for work/life balance. I strive to model a balanced life for our daughters so that when they grow up and create lives and careers and families of their own, they will (hopefully!) have seen an example of a balanced life. I fall short often and have to remind myself to redirect my energy and time in one direction or another. Living a balanced life takes a lot of concentrated effort and focus. It requires setting limits and boundaries on your time and this holds true for parents who work outside the home and for moms and dads who stay-at-home. Our kids need to see us as fully realized human beings with interests outside our family lives, with hobbies, volunteer or paid work that we are passionate about so that they learn by our life’s example that discovering their life’s work and passion is important!
C. Care. Show your children how much you care by giving them your time and presence more often than presents! Practice good self-care! Create a wellness routine that includes exercise (consider going for a run, a weekly hike, or a walk with your neighbor or spouse/partner), spending time with friends (without the kids!), and aim to eat healthy, balanced meals (most of the time, anyway!).
I’ll end this post with a beautiful quote on parenting from one of my favorite authors, Isabel Allende.
“Accept children the way we accept trees–with gratitude, because they are a blessing—but do not have expectations or desires. You don’t expect trees to change, you love them as they are.”