Learning to release the impulse to control things is often one of life’s most important lessons, and being flexible in our overall approach in daily living is key to a good, easy existence. So if you want a really good opportunity to practice this rather important life skill. Well, easy. Just sign up for parenting.
As a parent of young children, you will more often than not need to adjust your expectations of how things are going to play out during the day (and the night!). Sometimes you’ll need to do this when you have prepared for time play out in a completely different way.
An expression comes to mind: “Man plans, God laughs.”
Before having my children I had an illusion of control. I could plan something and then go about accomplishing my task pretty much the way I had planned. Then I had kids – and now I make plans almost as a joke!
I’ve learned to make an “ish” plan.
“Ok, we’ll aim to get there at about 9ish, depending on how the morning goes and we may or may not take the girls tutus, gumboots, colouring in books, water bottles and snacks with us. Oh hang on, the little one is sniffly. Well, we’ll just have to see how she is in the morning. We can try to stay for a couple of hours, depending on if they get bored or are having a good time.
Then maybe we can go to the cafe for lunch if the kids aren’t worn out or grumpy. Ok? Great! That’s our plan!”
And this sort of plan actually reassures me!
It’s such a blessing being able to practice this letting go thing everyday. Thank you children.
I remember silently vowing before I gave birth to my first daughter, “I WILL still be someone who arrives on time. I WILL still have meaningful conversations with all of my friends. I WILL still go out in the evenings.”
I sometimes see new mums walking around our neighborhood with panicked, exhausted expressions on their faces as they watch their plans for the day sprint off without them, again. It ain’t easy.
When things aren’t going the way we think they should, we fight it. We fight it hard. This is true for a range of scenarios in life, not just parenting.
Basically, we resist because whatever is going on doesn’t fit in with our picture of how it should be. How we planned it to be. How we expect it to be.
It only makes things worse though doesn’t it? Yes, resistance is futile.
When we stubbornly enforce our way instead of letting go and seeing what happens if we just stand back for a moment, our eternally helpful children promptly assist us in realising the futility of our approach. They do this by utilising their refined negotiation skills; they start getting unhappy, they whine, they act out, they hit their siblings… They are small, but the power our children yield is potent!
So why live in Struggle Town? When we release our resistance and the impulse to have things go “to plan” all of the time, great things can happen. Days begin to flow, little hearts begin to lighten and our life alongside these precious little Zen Masters becomes what it should always be. Fun!
We offer modern meditation classes for mothers who want to enjoy the parenting journey just that little bit more.
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