I could recount for you all the obvious ways that my life changed – the lack of sleep, the increased laundry, the irrational worries and the indescribable feelings of love. I could talk about how my relationships and responsibilities changed in one way or another, but those are all blogs for another day. Today I can’t help but think about how much I’ve changed.
There was not one situation that started the ball rolling. Instead it was a series of small things that all started to add up for me. If I had to summarize it into one thing, I started asking more questions. The first and most common question seemed to fit every scenario - what should I do? I turned to parenting magazines, which led me to online articles and books. I shared stories with select close friends, guarding myself from moms I didn’t know well out of fear of judgement and criticism.
What turned to why? Why did I feel so strongly about a good night’s sleep or a solid routine or a way of disciplining? There were certainly other ways of doing things that other people believed in and saw results in, why was what we chose the “right” one? A few years later, I read The Conscious Parent, where Dr. Shefali says it best:
“We each enter the parenting journey with visions of what it will be. For the most part these visions are fantasies. We hold beliefs, values, and assumptions we have never examined. Many of us don’t even see a reason to question our ideas because we believe we are “right” and have nothing to rethink.”
I had questioned few of these beliefs, values and assumptions, just accepting them as truth. These “why” questions started out as parenting questions, but very quickly led to internal questions that only I could answer for myself. I started to realize that to be the best Mom I could be was less about the best way to handle the behavior of my children and more about handling my own behavior, mindset and perspective.
The why questions led to how. The most powerful question for me came from author and motivational speaker, Gabrielle Bernstein. During an online webinar she asked “How do you want to feel?” I knew I didn’t want to feel tired and stressed out, but how did I really want to feel? This question became a both long term and a daily question I asked myself. When how I wanted to feel didn’t match what I was actually feeling, I went back to why.
The thing about questions is that there is always another one waiting to be asked. Eleven years ago I knew I would be watching my child grow, I just never imagined how much I would be growing right along with her.
p.s. You may be thinking, the blog is great, but I could never do that! I disagree and am here to help! Let’s schedule a 30 minute consultation to define what matters most to you right now and create a plan on how to spend more of your time doing that. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work out the details.
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