So we must be attentive and flexible. We must honor our own needs as well as meet our children where they are. We must be open and honest about who we are and how we can be of help to our kids. We must be willing to share our children with our close community and the community at large. I am so grateful that my girls have many extra parents that they call when they need help.
When kids need more structure, you can try adding one small thing. Try thinking about it as rhythm instead of scheduling. How do you want to live? What is important to you? How are you allowing kindness into your family life? Is your life an act of kindness to yourself? What is preventing you and your family from living the way you want to?
One of the traps I noticed myself falling into was comparison. I would lose track of my one family. I would see all of these amazing families with amazing kids and amazing resources and feel badly that we weren’t doing all of those amazing things and being those amazing people. As a family unit we were pretty darned amazing, but if I compared us with the sum total of all the other families, then I was holding us to a ridiculous, unattainable, exhausting-just-to-think-about-it standard.
When I was hurriedly running around trying to be like other people I was prone to crankiness and a general sense of failure and running behind. When I thought in terms of purpose, love and kindness I felt satisfied. This is a personal practice that requires clarity and discipline. How can we expect our kids to embody clarity for themselves if we don’t have it to model for them?
We continue to grow together. My community continues to be my inspiration for being the best person I can be. I worried that once Maggie and Elsa lived elsewhere I wouldn’t have that drive to keep learning how to be my best self, but I discovered that my love for my friends drives me just fine. My constant question continues to be “Given our present ages/needs/desires, how can we facilitate each other’s growth?”