Peace and Parenting
Making peace with our past can be a slippery slope. You may have regret, sorrow, guilt, or shame that you are still trying to overcome. Those things do not define you nor are they your future.
Having sorrow means that you know how to love. At some point in time we will all experience a love that changes and that’s okay. Do not feel surprised by sorrow, then. The anecdote for sorrow is to live more fully today. I understand, easier said than done, right? However, small steps are still progress. It’s about progress. Not perfection.
Do you feel guilty about something? I’m sure we all have at least one thing. If you’ve wronged someone, make amends. Or at least try. You’ll thank yourself for it later on. Confronting those fears can help you to be a more effective parent. You will have experience to share with your children when they need advice about the same things. Wish you could go back and change something? Me too. But…if your response was different then you would be a different person now. Embrace who you are now. You’ve come a long way!
Do you have shame? The best way to overcome shame is to bring it to the light! Shame likes to creep around the dark hidden places in our heart. Bringing it to light and calling it for what it is, is healthy. Find a trusted pal and open up to them about what you’re ashamed of. Saying it out loud makes it real and gives you the ability to deal with it.
Do you have regret? What we all learn from regret is to be a better risk taker. Think about your present situation. Pick one thing that you want to try but fear just a little bit and GO DO THAT! Regret is literally a waste of time. The exact extent of time that you give to those regretful memories, you are squandering your precious present.
When I was fifteen weeks pregnant my husband went into the hospital with swine flu. He was immediately intubated and was out for a month. Over the course of the seven months that he was hospitalized, he was moved to eight different facilities. During that time, he had a heart attack, a stroke, started dialysis, lost control of his muscles and ability to walk, had to have a trach, and learned how to talk all over again. He never was able to walk again. A man of fairly good health and only 30 years of age lost his life.
I experienced sorrow, regret, shame, and guilt after he passed away. Here I was with a baby who would never get to meet her father and dealing with outside pressures to be a good mama. During the time that he was hospitalized and for the many months after, his family and I did not get along. We argued, they stalked me, they trashed me around our little home town, all because I was trying to do what I felt was best for my little family. They didn’t care about the health of my unborn child and for that I was angry. Extremely angry.
Five months after his passing his mother took me to court for grandparent visitation. She was granted visitation and thus began a journey that I didn’t see coming. Our schedule is still in place and six years later, we are in a better place ourselves. His mother and I have come to terms with the fact that we don’t have to agree with each other on everything but we must communicate in a healthy and respectable manner for my daughter’s sake. Making peace with the past for me has helped me to be a better mama. If I still held onto those feelings that I once had I would be bitter and not enjoy those precious moments with my kids.
Your children are only little once. Don’t let your past hinder you from enjoying the present. Your children are your future. Your past is the past. Keep your head up mama, we all struggle but you can achieve peace and enjoy the present with your babies!
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