Mindfulness in parenting

Being the best parent I possibly can is something I am passionate about and know that many of you are too.

As my children get older, I feel like things are getting busier as there are so many different activities vying for their attention. As I struggle to balance these, I find it is important to think about what values we have as a family and ask the question ‘How do these activities match up with our family values?’  In many ways the ideas and research by the ‘positive psychologists’ can help give direction as to what helps kids flourish and what helps us be better parents. But then, in the end, taking time to listen to our hearts is also important.

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photo credit: blogthings.com

I really enjoyed reading the following (on the blog “A Holy Experience”) and wanted to share it – please, not to put anyone on a guilt trip, but to encourage you amongst the cleaning and cooking to live in the moment and enjoy the simple parts of parenting.

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photo credit: dyaneburgon.com

To give the writing context, it is set in Canada and the writer is sending her 18 year old son to live-in University. (For the full story click here.)

“How could I forget that the only thing that we’re always really teaching is love? What if I’m wild to go back to Dr. Suess and begin again? What if I want to go back and make the schedule simpler so our lives could be richer? So I could tie your shoe one more time and bend down and kiss your cowlick….
What if I want to play more games of monopoly and leave the dishes in the sink more often? What if I want to take you fishing more Saturdays and blow off cleaning up the garage? Why doesn’t someone tell all the homemakers: Cleanliness isn’t next to godliness. Love is….
I wish I had cared a lot less about your room being clean and a lot more that you and your brothers being close. Why didn’t I paint it in neon on a wall: More important than a clean house is a close family…
You may forget the chronology of the Egyptian pharaohs, but you’ll remember your Dad sneaking up behind me and kissing my ear while I was scrubbing out the breakfast frying pan. I’m not partial to how much you remember of calculus; but it’s dire that you know that the sum of how you see the ordinary is all that ever adds up to an extraordinary life. The lessons any kid remembers are the ones his parents lived. The goal is simple: It’s not about a 5-year scholarship but being a life-long learner and a life-long lover...
I wished we’d read more Charlie Brown books together and laughed loud on the floor. I should have gone slower. Every time you saw me, a smile is what you should have seen first…
I’d give my eye teeth, my liver and lifetime worth of free bacon to go back and tell you three times a day,  to look you in the eyes and tell you: I really like you.”

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May you find time on the weekend for making memories with your kids. Not necessarily big event memories, but the memories that make up the little things in life…
how you see the ordinary is all that ever adds up to an extraordinary life

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