Sometimes parenting is so hard… so heartbreakingly hard.
But it doesn’t always have to be hard
Sometimes you can let it be easy.
Or at least easier, sometimes.
A few weeks ago my middle child went on strike when it came to walking to school. We only walk from preschool to school, 3 blocks, once a week, but for some reason he suddenly just didn’t want to do it.
I tried talking to him about it, but he wouldn’t or couldn’t tell me what was upsetting him.
I tried empathising and understanding, still no answers.
I tried making plans and changing routines but it didn’t change anything.
I tried compromises, and explaining, and rationalising, but it didn’t help.
I lost my cool and yelled at him, of course that didn’t help.
I stooped low and tried bribing him… zip.
I stooped even lower and, one morning, I quite literally dragged him those three blocks to school while he cried, dug his heels in, and tried his best not to go.
I was not proud of myself that morning.
Afterwards, as I chatted to a friend, I realised something… I could keep trying to force him to walk to school, upsetting us both, or I could make this one morning a week much, much, MUCH easier if I just drove him to school, like I did every other day.
So I did.
I let it be easy.
Easier on him, and certainly easier on me.
I kinda felt like I had ‘let him win’, but parenting is not a battle that one side must win and therefore the other must lose.
I kinda felt like I had ‘given up’, that I never worked out what the problem was and never ‘fixed it, but there is not always a reason, or at least not one that our children can articulate, and perhaps the fix is not to be found in me always getting what I want, or doing what I think is best, but in my child being happy and heading off to school with a smile?
Just by my changing my attitude, letting go of unimportant things, and picking my battles… I can let it be easy.
If can let go of needing a resolution, if I can give up on having to have a definitive answer, if I can quit the expectations, if I can accept that I won’t always understand or be ‘right’… then perhaps I will get better at letting it be easy.
What do you think? Are there situations you could simply ‘let it be easy’?
Inspired by this post and image and some really really crappy mornings.