The week between school and camp is usually met with a cringe on my part. This week I was excited to spend time with my children relaxing and enjoying them and I did but come Saturday and I was done. Spent, sensitive, sick and selfish are all words I could use to describe my Saturday and unfortunately the kids got the brunt of it. Although I was able to hold on to most of my patience, I was quiet and moody and a part of me feels guilty. So now in this moment I have the opportunity to beat myself up for it or be kind to myself. The question is what is the benefit of beating myself up does it make me a better parent?
I recently went to a talk by Geneen Roth author of Women, Food and God. For any of you out there who have not read her book I highly recommend it. She speaks of a non-diet approach to weight loss. She encourages trusting our bodies to self regulate while at the same time exploring the beliefs we hold of ourselves that cause us to eat. During the Q & A someone in the audience asked her if she ever falls off the wagon, if she has ever had a relapse and started bingeing again. And her response was lovely,(this is paraphrased) “Sometimes I go into the kitchen and say to my husband, Matt I am going to have a binge now you can join me or not. And then I sit at the table and eat as much as I want and it is usually not that much more than I would have normally eaten. I allow myself to eat I get up and move on with my life I don’t judge it, I don’t hold on to it and I don’t beat myself up about it.” I loved it, we can have a bad day, and we can welcome the bad day or we can have a bad day and punish ourselves for it.
I choose compassion and love for myself. Okay I wasn’t the greatest mother today. I am lucky in that there will be a new day, a new moment, a new opportunity to embrace my children with all of the love that I am. For now I will just rest in the knowingness that I am ok even when I make mistakes, even when I have a bad day. So with this in mind, I will verbalize to my children my sadness over the missed opportunity and open them up to the wonder that what will unfold in this moment. My children in their resilience will be able to develop a trust in the fact that I love them even when I am having a bad day.