Last night, before my eyelids clapped shut for the next few hours (til my son woke me for the start of the day at 4.30am– oi!), I read the following:

There is nothing like parenting to show you your shortcomings and less-than-perfect places…. With so many mirrors held up to your humanness, there is the possibility for great learning.  However, much depends on what you do when you see your less-than-compassionate thoughts and your less-than-perfect actions.  Will you judge and berate and punish yourself? Or will you observe your imperfections with compassion, take stumbles in stride, and learn from your mistakes while keeping self-respect?

That’s from “Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids” by Hart and Kindle-Hodson.

After reading those words, I sleepily stared into the middle distance and considered how parenting has changed me and developed my ideas about life, other people and myself.  In my low moments, that negative voice within loudly chastises me for making so many parenting mistakes.  Instead of seeing them as an opportunity for learning, I hear those thoughts telling me that my children are suffering because I’m not good at being a parent. It’s easy to give in to those negative thoughts, to let them take up permanent residence in my mind, to invite them in for a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

What’s harder is seeing myself with compassion and accepting every knock as an opportunity to learn about myself, to connect deeply with my authentic self and to reach out to my child from a place of vulnerability and love.



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7 thoughts on “Welcome

  • 21/10/2011 at 12:59 pm

    To add a comment just click on the bubble at the top of the post or on the name of the post! xx

    • 21/10/2011 at 9:17 pm

      I wonder does every Mother beat herself with a large imaginary stick at every opportunity the way I do? Not a day goes by when I don’t berate myself for being rubbish. Lisa, your thoughts above have done two wonderful things for me. Firstly, I feel a bit better that I’m not the only one with a great big imaginary stick stuck in my back pocket (sorry). Secondly, I shall endeavour to remember your wise words and look at my imperfections with compassion. I guess when we spend so much of our energy on being compassionate and loving and nurturing to our offspring, we forget to save a little bit for ourselves? Gx

      • 22/10/2011 at 8:09 am

        Hi Gemma, Yes I suppose we do forget about ourselves. But isn’t it essential to model for our children the behaviours we want them to have? I don’t want my girls beating themselves up the way I do when they become mothers. We seem to accept that this is just the way of things though: I once heard a mother joke that when you have a baby they send you home from hospital with a baby and a big stick to beat yourself up with!

        I’m about to go for a run with a friend to have a really nice cathartic chat! It’s a beautiful autumn morning. What are you going to do today to cherish yourself?

  • 22/10/2011 at 3:39 am

    Your words “…reach out to my child from a place of vulnerability and love” really touched me – ironic that allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is so often the biggest challenge in parenting, when the choice to become a parent was in itself the choice to become vulnerable for the rest of our lives. Here’s a quote I love “Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” (Elizabeth Stone, journalist)

    • 22/10/2011 at 8:05 am

      Thank you Gina for this beautiful quotation. It’s true that our children are our hearts walking around outside our bodies– maybe that’s why it can be so hard to let go! I really appreciate your comments and hope you will continue to read and comment. Love, Lisa

  • 30/10/2011 at 4:11 pm

    Thank you for those words Lisa, how often we give so much kindness to others and leave no kind words for ourselves. It seems natural to want to be the best mother we can be to our ‘walking hearts’ however it may be true that if we were ‘perfect’ models of motherhood we would be doing our children a disservice in failing to teach them to sharing our vulnerabilities as well as strengths xx

    • 01/11/2011 at 11:42 am

      Yes Emma, I love what you say about sharing our vulnerabilities and our strengths. Thanks for commenting. xx

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