This week I am working on myself in these ways…
Patience – This is probably the most important attribute anyone dealing with small children should cultivate. I find that I am very often lacking in patience, it is not my strong suit. This week, I am trying to work on this by simply holding my tongue. When the kids are driving me crazy or things just aren’t going my way, I am trying to just be quiet for an extra moment before I allow myself to react. Mindfulness in this aspect is the only way to change it and its so incredibly important for my children. I find that the degree of sleep deprivation I am dealing with also plays a huge role, so I am trying to go to bed just a little earlier and take care of myself more. Also, patience with small children is often a matter of tolerance and knowledge. If we can be tolerant of these almost alien beings that our little children sometimes are just as we should be tolerant of the differences we find in other adults, then we have already won half the battle. And if we are knowledgeable about their developmental stages and the normality of certain behaviors, we will find that such tolerance is easier to come by.
Rhythm – This means having a predictable and dependable routine each day that helps children with stress, difficult situations and the ever-problematic transitions between activities. Rhythm also teaches kids that the world is safe and they are taken care of. With daylight savings time, a relatively new school-going-girl, a crazy work schedule for Daddy, and holidays coming up, however, everything is feeling a little off lately. Z seems to be in need of being held close and being carried by a stronger rhythm in our days. I will certainly expand on this important idea later, but right now I am just trying to work on what will help her most. For example, I want to try adding some reliable verses and songs to help ease certain situations (like a song that would signal time to go up for bath which was a disaster last night for the first time in as long as I can remember!). I think and hope that this small effort will really pay off!
Gratitude and Reverence – I am striving to remember in each moment how lucky I am and notice the beauty of my life and world. Being outside a lot helps me in this (and luckily we are having freakishly warm weather lately- another thing to be grateful for). Also, taking some time to reflect on my life and my children when they are asleep is a wonderful way to work on my gratitude for them! This is such an important quality to model for children because if we are truly grateful and truly reverent then we are better and happier people for it.
…What are you working on?