Parenting used to make me feel weak. Not anymore.Feb 22, 2020
Now parenting thrills me. That’s why I keep doing it.
Oh right. That and the fact that I’ve got kids, so hey no choice. But I do it willingly and with love because I have now hacked the code. And hacking it fills me with the joy I imagine Edison may have felt when he figured out how to harness all that energy into a bulb of light.
What happened to me the other night is a great example. My kiddos were cranky. One wanted to sleep. The other wanted to play drums. I had work. My husband had work. We decided he was going to put them to bed, as my work was going to take longer. Awesome. Except he came up five minutes later about to explode. They weren’t listening and he just did NOT have it in him. He has been such a rockstar parent lately I totally felt for him in that moment. I said don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.
But then I made a mistake. A mistake I am always reminding you guys never to make.
I didn't go in early enough. I tried to finish one thing for 2 minutes and by the time I got there the drum set was in pieces on the floor, the youngest was crying and the oldest was fuming. I already knew what had happened. The oldest had wanted to play. Dad and I had given him 25 minutes. But 25 minutes later, when he refused to stop and Dad got mad, the youngest got involved and tried to stop him.
This escalated to the youngest breaking apart the drum set and the oldest now vowing to break his guitar. This was what I walked in to. Shit happens, folks. It goes down in every. single. family. What matters is what YOU do next.
Because I have spent all these years studying myself, my kids, my values, my choices, and my own regulation, I was able to flip it. Within 15-20 minutes we were all cuddled in bed laughing and apologizing to each other and learning about time and schedules and how we get what we want. And what we should do when we don’t. And we learned two new words: roughshod and behoove. (I had said at one point: "I get that you wanted to keep playing the drums, but you can't just run roughshod over what other people are wanting." He thought that word was funny and then asked, "Why? If the people are asking me shoddy things, I can run right over them." He giggled, I tickled his ribs and said "Oh yeah? I don't think that's going to behoove you." This word sent my younger into paroxysms of laughter. I'll teach them 'paroxysms' next time they are mad!) Then we laughed some more and we all went to bed with full hearts. Well, the kids did, and my husband and I went to work.
But I wasn’t tired anymore. I was exhilarated. My soul was rejuvenated by the endless possibilities of repair and love and creativity that being in a family offers us. Parenting used to overwhelm me. Now it gets me high.
The thrill of the challenge is superseded by the thrill of the win. It’s a natural high that I keep chasing. And I am happy to be your dealer if you want in. These are the real life drugs our bodies are MEANT to feel. Get THESE endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine and you won’t need the fake stuff.
Have you ever felt this kind of healthy high from parenting? A moment when you just KNEW in your bones you slam-dunked it? Send me a note and tell me your story. I am happy to cheer you on, you amazing human in charge of leading other amazing and sometimes infuriating humans.