I am a mother of two amazing children- but like all children they come with their ups and downs. Currently our “issue” of the week is my daughter’s sensitivity to some friendship issues at school. I came home this evening after a loooong week of work- by the way, do not feel sorry for me- I love what I do and Thursdays are my Fridays because I have inherently worked Friday in as my day off and self-care day.
Needless to say, obviously what I do is to help others work through their struggles and gain strength. Tonight, I came home to continue what I do for work and figure out a way to incorporate it into my daughter’s needs and her current struggles. Admittedly, I did not feel like cooking so I asked my kids if we could have a “date night”. This was while my daughter was crying about her “horrible” day, my babysitter (who I depend on heavily to keep my work schedule) was informing me she could no longer work afternoons due to a change in her school/ other job schedule, and my husband is out of town all week. Wheh.
The kids and I headed out to dinner. As we began our discussions about how to help my daughter work through her struggles and be the “best she can be” (as we say in our family), our conversation slowly shifted from negativity and what was going wrong to focusing on how we can learn from the times of struggle. This shifted our conversation to exploring the times each of us had struggled the most, been the most discouraged, made mistakes and not dwelling on those times – but rather how we rose above them. How we learned from them. I pointed out to my six and eight-year-old that it is not about winning, or getting the A, or having the most friends, it is about growing and learning from getting a bad grade, or losing the big game, or the feeling when you feel alone. It is about learning from those moments and learning how to overcome them rather than get stuck in them.
I found myself in an evening that started with exhaustion and feeling a little overwhelmed as a parent and questioning my own parenting, to feeling encouraged and invigorated to be working through and talking through these important struggles and growth with my children. It reminded me that barriers and frustrations should be seen as opportunity rather than setbacks.
And enter one of my favorite words: resilience.