Why Every Parent Should Celebrate Their Own Tiny Achievements
Did you know that our brain continues to evolve even after we hit old age? It is true. Scientists can prove it now. Our brain does not start declining as soon as we hit puberty.
And it's such a beautiful and liberating thought. We continue to grow and learn even as cheeky wrinkles begin to kiss and caress our bodies.
But did you know that you could grow and evolve as a parent? I knew it, of course. But this morning I have experienced it first hand and I have enjoyed it.
Here it is:
My preschooler has accidentally thrown a pack of wet wipes at her sister and hit her in the eye. The baby started wailing, of course. The preschooler started howling. What a lovely start to my morning!
My default setting would be to get super upset and lose it. Usually, I would start crying and calling myself not good enough mum because I could not remain calm and help my children. I was incapable of leading by example. Or so I thought while riding this vicious circle time and time again.
But this morning something magical has happened.
Instead of panicking, shouting, getting upset and joining in with all the teary display, I remained calm. It was unusual for me because I am an emotional and highly sensitive mum. I can literally feel the pain of my offsprings.
My calm demeanour continued as I comforted the baby and stroked the preschooler who was more upset than either of us. She knew she caused her sister a pain. So her tears were streaming faster than the Niagara Falls.
And previously I would get very cross thinking that she tried to distract me from her sibling and draw attention to her tears. Which, in turn, would make me more angry, frustrated and upset. This time I could clearly understand where she was coming from. She felt guilty and probably scared. So I started talking to her very quietly and calmly.
I started telling her that it was not her fault, that it was an accident and that she was not in trouble. But I also said that I wanted to explain something to her and asked her to sit up when she could. When she did, eventually, get back to her feet, I showed her how and why this accident had happened. I calmly reminded her that throwing things, even as a joke, could sometimes cause harm. So throwing anything is not a good idea.
Usually, once she starts crying she won't stop for what feels like forever. This time she's calmed down within minutes.
When the situation was defused, I looked back at what had just happened. I realised that I helped my preschooler to learn something. And I did it by remaining calm.
I also remembered reading myriads of articles and books on how to remain calm in situations like this. And it has finally worked! I've learnt something new and applied it!
For me it's like growing up overnight. So I am chuffed to bits.
When you notice yourself growing as a parent, it's almost like earning brownie points or stars from your favourite school teacher. It's exhilarating and delicious!
And it is vital for us, parents, to acknowledge every single tiny win.
Why, you might ask?
Because we forget that we are not superhuman. We forget that we have weaknesses. We forget that we are not set in stone. We forget that we are stroppy and fiery children deep inside. And we forget that we can change and grow and evolve.
We might think there is nothing special about learning to remaining calm in this situation or that. Why should we celebrate it?
Because quite often we allow ourselves to lose it, because we have limits as humans. And we don't feel good about it.
But if we remember to celebrate even tiny achievement on our parental journey, the chances are we might remember not to lose it as often.
Celebrating or simply acknowledging might help us to remember that we do learn, that reading everything we can lay our hands on and trying to be better is not in vain.
We grow as parents.
So should we not notice and celebrate it?
Heck yeah! We absolutely should!
If only to show our children a good example.