We are the Examples
I’ve talked before about how we as parents are here to teach our kids how to handle big things. We are the examples they follow.
Any time we have major changes in our lives, we have to show our kids that even when things are hard, we keep going and doing the things, each and every day.
Whether it is big emotions – as I talked about last year in Time Out – or big life changes, including the global pandemic we have all been dealing with all year, how we handle it and show our kids how to deal is how they will live in the future. Taking time to calm down when we are upset, giving love to one another, and having grace with one another are all foundational.
And sometimes, being the examples for our kids is hard. Sometimes, we look around wondering where our examples are – we all need someone to look up to.
When I started my last post about Giving Thanks, I highlighted my son’s comments about people skipping over Thanksgiving to Christmas – and I was thankful for him getting it. I am so thankful that my 9-year old understands that November is a time for stepping back and taking time to count our blessings. Somehow, in the middle of all of the things that we do, year after year, my son picked up that nugget of wisdom and he was the first one to comment about the skip between Halloween and Christmas.
Somehow, just by taking the time to be thankful, to change out our Halloween décor for the Thanksgiving decorations (pilgrims and turkeys) every year before moving on to the Christmas decorations, we have managed to set that example for our kids. And they got it!
My son had a birthday this last week, and our girls both have birthdays coming up. In the time of CoVID, birthdays are a little different. I had to send pre-packaged individually wrapped snacks with him to school. I couldn’t make special cupcakes. But, we still made it fun. Kid Birthdays should be celebrated. No matter what.
There are a lot of people I look up to, a lot of moms and dads that I watch and follow and want to be like when I grow up. One of these days, I will actually sit down and write the book idea in my head – highlighting all of these women and men who are awesome parents, career people, and friends of mine.
I do try to set an example for my kids. I try to do the right thing. Our kids do throw fits. They are not perfect – and neither am I. None of us are perfect! We all do the best we can, we make the best choices we can, and each of those choices and decisions is the best for each of us at that time.
Change is hard. My husband says I don’t like change – and he isn’t wrong. But I think it’s more that I get used to how things are, and I like to prepare myself for changes. I don’t like to be surprised, especially when I had a plan in my head and I’m not the one making the changes. I like to be in charge of what I’m doing. Whether it is where decorations go around the house (when he moves things around it drives me nuts), or schedule changes that affect my kids, when someone else’s actions change the path I had in my head, it throws me off.
But change is a fact of life. As moms and dads, even when we don’t like it, we roll with things that happen. Kid messes (of all kinds), accidents (Adventures in Parenting?), broken bones or cuts needing stitches – Life Happens. I wrote that last spring, thinking that it had been hard at that point to be quarantined for a month together. And life does go on, no matter what. Think of how far we’ve all come since then!
We are going through some life changes in our house. New opportunities, new job possibilities (for both of us), new projects, and a lot of unknowns. And we are going to be totally great! We have each other, we have awesome kids, and I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason.
Everyone, everywhere has been through a lot this year. I worry about a lot of things. Making sure my parents and my in-laws stay healthy. Keeping my kids active and engaged in sports, school and life. Making sure they get down time, but also not too much Screen Time.
The news this week that two companies are now in the final stages of development and testing for the new CoVID vaccine is great! I believe that it will be safe. Vaccines save lives. The fact that our country came together with a plan – government worked with industry to get things done fast – shows how great America really is.
When push comes to shove, time after time, Americans have proven that we rise to the occasion. And I’m so glad we live in the greatest country on Earth.
In the grand scheme of things, I am mostly happy to set an example for my kids. I try to show them that – even when things are hard – we keep going and keep doing whatever we need to do. We get things done, we rise to the occasion. We do whatever comes next.
I might lose my cool sometimes. Don’t we all? We have been home for what seems like an endless amount of time this year. The fact that we all mostly still like each other and keep up with the day to day, supporting one another in all the things, is so good!
As parents, we have to always keep going. We have to do all the things, keep up with the every day – no matter what else is happening. We are the examples for our kids – but also for our friends. Everyone has challenges. The best thing, all around, is to help each other deal with those challenges and keep going.
Be kind. Be supportive. Help each other. And always, Cheers to the moms (and dads)!