Self Love 2 days ago by Liz Adams

A Practice in Parenting

practice in parenting

I saw a video on Instagram recently of an old interview Oprah did with Mister Rogers that was the most simple practice in parenting. She asked him what he thinks the biggest mistake we make as parents when raising our children is and his response was “not remembering our own childhood.” And it was one of those things that I watched a few times over to let that information seep into my head until I could really think about it…

It got me thinking of my own childhood which I think we can all admit was much simpler than our kids experience now. Less pressure, less comparison, fewer obligations and camps and sports, less judgement. My parents weren’t always hovering or trying to control situations like I more often than not catch myself doing with my kids. We were encouraged to make our own mistakes and learn from consequences where now it feels like we anticipate and plan so much that our kids are lacking actual experiences, fails, hardships, etc.

I think our children feel more pressure than they ever have before. Kids have more knowledge at their fingertips, because of how much is shared their world has become so big that it sometimes feels hard to keep them in their little bubble (my kids are 8,6 and 3 so I am holding on to the bubble). And I detail all of this because what this video reminded me of the most was the important of REMEMBERING OUR OWN CHILDHOOD. I wrote down a little list that came to mind of my own childhood…

fresh air
road trips
sweaters and socks
movies on the couch
picking flowers
sharing a room with my sister
listening to music on the floor
playing outside with my neighbors
donuts every Sunday morning
making collages from magazine clippings
hugs from my parents
dinner as a family around the table
my parents always making my feel safe in conversation

Simple, slow, free, joyful. I get teary eyed thinking about what a blessing my childhood and family is in my life (it is not lost on me how lucky I am).

I have shared this before but I keep a photo of myself in kindergarten on my vanity and every morning I give her a little high five. I’m not sure why but in my head it sort of means like I’m living today for that version of myself. Being softer and gentler, giving myself grace, letting the bullshit go and channeling that innocence and joy that most days gets lost along the way. It is something that maybe sounds silly but it helps me step into parenting with less pressure, fewer high level expectations and more ease. Especially now that Charlie is 8, I have days where I set such high expectations for him compared to the others and can forget that he is only 8! I want to savor his 8 year old innocence and joy and naivety for as long as I can.

practice in parenting

All that to say, sometimes you see things that stop you in your tracks and this was one of those moments. A reminder that our kids are a direct reflection of us and at the end of the day, showing up for them in my greatest job. It doesn’t matter how many pairs of jeans I sell or how many people liked my Instagram post (or even read this blog post!) – all that matters is that they feel loved and seen and celebrated every day. When you say it out loud it is so much more simple than we make it out to be in our heads.

My word for the year was abundance and I keep getting these little reminders to refocus on the word I started with. A good little reset on this long journey that is parenthood. You can find more of my longer written posts about parenting and life right here!