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For the Love of....Parenting

exhaustion mindset negative behaviors parenting self-compassion Jun 04, 2022
A mother macaque carries her baby on her back by Michael Schwartzenberg
(if you don't have kids, and this doesn't ring with you, identify another group of humans that you sometimes find challenging. Patients. Siblings. Parents.)
I find living with children challenging.
I love my kids.
And I enjoy kids in general.
Bring your baby to my exam room, my house, to coffee, and I'm going to want to hold them and bounce them.
But living with kids has been something else.
They bump up against my other loves. Quiet. Tidiness. Being on time. Independence. Time with friends. Time with my husband.
And I get frustrated when they seem to "get in the way" of what I am doing, want to do, etc. But part of it is that I think it shouldn't be this way.
In my mind, my nurturing, loving presence as a mom would create beautiful little humans who were easy-natured, brilliant, quiet and reflective. Of course I could create this, right? I'm the mom, and I can do hard things.
But we don't get to choose our children, their personalities, their traits, the things they enjoy and dislike, or their energy levels and interests. True, we have some influence on those things, but we may end up with a kid very much like us, very much not like us, and everything in between.
And so on a day when I find myself frustrated with their behaviors, their slowness, their fighting, their need to be taught how to do something, I have the choice to pause and consider why I feel frustrated.
Do I think they should magically know how to load the dishwasher?
Or how to not fight with each other?
Or how to not get upset when they ask me to trace a very specific WWI Triplane from the drawing book and I miss a part?
Does the rational part of me think that kids should be docile, passive/submissive, and afraid to ask for help?
Not really.
So do I want to keep feeling frustrated, or do I want to practice reminding myself that I chose to have kids so that I could be a part of THEIR journey through childhood and beyond.
I don't suggest that this kind of self-compassion and self-kindness is easy. It's easy to let my emotions run wild when my brain tells me that they should be faster, or shouldn't need this many reminders to get stuff done (insert the wah-wah noise of Charlie Brown's adults here). But a huge part of my focus right here and now in my life is noticing the emotions, figuring out why they are happening (my thoughts about the situation), and gently choosing other thoughts that are more helpful.
I don't need to be thrilled that it takes 7 reminders to get teeth brushed (I exaggerate a teensy bit). But I can recognize that brushing their teeth is way less enjoyable than the book they don't want to put down, and have compassion. For them and for me.
And that makes living with them (and they with me) easier.

Hi There!

I'm Megan. I'm a Physician and a Life Coach and a Mom. I created this blog to help other Physicians and Physician-Moms learn more about why they feel exhausted, burned-out and overwhelmed, and how to start to make changes. I hope that you enjoy what you read, and that it helps you along your journey. And hey, if you want to talk about coaching with me, I'm here for that too! I offer a free 1:1 call to see if we are a good fit. Click the button below to register today.

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