Unless you have been holed up somewhere, you have heard of the term “authentic self”. Do a quick web search, you will find that knowing your authentic self and living in alignment with your authentic self will move you toward your greater calling, bring you happiness, fulfillment, and God knows what other good stuff!
It all sounds really wonderful, but what does that have to do with parenting? Simple! When you parent from your authentic self, you will feel good about it.
How do you know if you’re parenting from your authentic-self? You use your emotions as the guide. Emotions are like a barometer that tells you whether you’re in alignment or out of alignment with your authentic self. When you are in alignment with your authentic self, you feel “good” – you feel the “flow”. You might feel energized, consistent between your values and your actions, calm, and clear. When you are not in alignment with your authentic self, you feel crappy – edgy, stressed out, frustrated, angry, anxious, sad or ashamed.
Wait a minute; I think my authentic self is actually mean and crabby. I am mean to my family, often yelling at my kids, snapping at my spouse or my mom who tirelessly help me out with my children. Next time you notice that you’re being crabby, take a moment and acknowledge that you’re not acting in alignment with your authentic self. Take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself: “what would make me feel good right now?” Perhaps it is to ignore the chaos going on, and invite your mom to sit down for a cup of tea and decompress. Perhaps it is to take your children out of the situations that are making them act out. It might mean unplugging the internet and going out for a bubble tea. It might mean saying good bye early at a party, feeling embarrassed but knowing deep down inside you’re making the best choice for yourself and your children in the moment.
While we are at it, let go of the embarrassment and the plethora of self-judgement you have about being a good parent. You aren’t put on the earth with innate skills of parenting and your child isn’t some picture book perfect angel who will respond exactly how the myriads of guidebooks teach you. Have some compassion for yourself and say: “parenting is a journey and I am just taking it one step at a time”.
Next time you and your child get into a conflict, slow down and go with what action will allow you to feel like your authentic self. Email me and let me know how it goes. Also, sign up for my newsletter for tips on getting attuned to your authentic-self. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org