Written by: Liz Matheis, PhD
I recently took a trip to Ireland for a week and it has given me immense perspective on motherhood and parenting. I am in the process of releasing years of baggage, so for me, this is mind-blowing. I didn’t see moms who had all sorts of contraptions for their children, for their safety or enrichment. What I did see is parents talking to their children, walking with them, hand in hand, younger and older. I didn’t see an emphasis on a ton of extra-curricular activities but rather the time to unwind at the end of the day and time for holiday (i.e., vacation).
As parents, we have created a lifestyle and mindset where children are the center of our universe. Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, states that there has to be a balance in our families where parents are at the top of the hierarchy and children are on the lower end of that hierarchy. When children gain that authority in a family, the balance is off and children become empowered and ultimately, anxious.
We establish our (daily, weekly, yearly) schedule around our children's preferences, and then consider our own at the very end. Most of the time, our preferences don’t make it to the table because our children will protest… loudly! With that said, we are sometimes surprised at how vocal and opinionated our children can be. Well, we gave them a voice and so they are using it.
We all struggle with the internal battle of “Am I doing enough for my children?” I struggle with that question too. Am I providing enough educational, cultural, social, family experiences to make my children well rounded enough? Then I started thinking, “Well rounded for what? College? Life?”
Live in the Now
Rather than constantly thinking about the future, I am choosing to live in the present with my children. I am going to enjoy the present moment and the joy it brings here, now, today.. but not tomorrow, when they’re in college or when they are adults. I know we all plan ahead, but sometimes, it’s okay to just be in the moment.
Image by: Pexels
Dr. Liz Matheis
Dr Liz Matheis and her team specialize in assisting children and their families with Anxiety, Autism, AD/HD, Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Struggles