On Saturday mornings, I host a room on Clubhouse, Coffee and Kids, where we talk about parenting (join my Clubhouse here). In our latest chat, we talked about celebrating parenthood. We can sometimes get bogged down by focusing on the negative aspects of parenting. We complain when our kids won’t do their homework, aren’t getting good grades, or don’t clean up their room. We grumble that they don’t listen to us EVER. I would be willing to bet you have thought and even said those things yourself. But in our last Coffee and Kids chat, we decided to shift our perspective to focus on celebrating being a parent and talking about our parenting wins.
We discussed how much of a blessing it is to actually have a child. We also acknowledged that there were times when we didn't realize that having a child is a blessing and that there are so many women who struggle with infertility and challenging pregnancies. The conversation just kept returning to the fact that human life itself is such a gift. When you start focusing on basic gratitude and love for human life, you feel a very powerful and overwhelming emotion. It is certainly something for which to be grateful.
One call participant, who lives in the Caribbean, talked about being frustrated with her daughter for not cleaning up her room. She shared that she really wanted to raise her voice and get angry with her daughter but instead decided to just hug her. Her daughter was about 14 years old at the time. In the moment, she made the decision to show love and gratitude for her daughter rather than starting a fight over a messy room. She shared that she hugged her daughter and said, “You know what, let's not argue. Let's talk about what you want to do today and what we are going to do together.” She was grateful for the mere presence of her daughter. That acceptance was her way of honoring human life. They decided to let the room be for the weekend and instead enjoy spending time together. The room could wait another day.
Then, our conversation shifted to parenting wins. I shared the story of when my ten-year-old daughter came to me with some friends who couldn't quite get their plans together. She said, “Let's go talk to my mom. She's great about making Plan B.” As a mom, I was really excited that my daughter had been listening to the words I’d said for so many years. She always knew that I would be able to make a backup plan, so she didn't have to worry about derailed schedules or routines. There was always another way around a failed plan. In that moment, she was coming to me for advice, and I considered that a parenting win.
Another participant chimed in and shared a similar story, and I loved how she phrased it. She said, “If the mountains are in the way, are we going to dig a hole, or are we going to go around them? We are going to find another way. We don't let the mountain stop us.” That is a GREAT parenting win - showing your kids how to plan for and get around obstacles in life.
One other person, who was raised in Cuba by her father, shared that she spent a lot of time sheltering her son early in his life. She found out later in her parenting years that she needed to “remove the umbrella and let the rain fall on him.” She meant that she could not protect him from everything, but she could be there for him when he needed her. She stated that she wished she had closed the umbrella earlier than she did because sheltering him from too many life experiences was not as helpful as she had anticipated.
It is so amazing to meet these women from around the world and to hear their parenting experiences. We all have one thing in common: We are all parents who love our children.
What I have learned: Look deeply at the gifts of being a parent and celebrate your wins.
Catch us on Clubhouse, Coffee and Kids, on Saturday mornings at 9:30 a.m. CST.
Tania Farran is an educator, mom, business owner, and an author. Her blogs tell about balancing all of these things in life! Laugh or cry with her and maybe learn a thing or two.