We've been experiencing some moments of tough love around here lately. Who would've known that our folks were right back when they said it was harder on them then it was on us. It took a husband, two kids, and a mortgage before I could really understand my parents and trust me, I'm not sure how they did it with three of us without going completely insane.
One thing I know is that it is my job to teach my sons how to respect others. It's amazing how these little beings come into our lives, such blank slates, and end up teaching us more about ourselves then we could ever imagine knowing. My sons have been really sending me to school lately with lessons on self respect and confidence. That's right, it takes a 4 year old with an attitude and a 1 year old learning about independence to teach me how to respect myself. Through their button pushing, stalling, and down right defiance I have been forced to acknowledge my own self confidence levels. Do I deserve to be bossed around by a 1 year old tyrant or a 4 year old despot? Do I deserve to be listened to (within reason) as if I matter beyond just clothes washer and food preparer? Do I deserve a moment of time to myself after hours at a park or event for the kids?
Well, folks, my answer to these questions is finally a resounding Yes!
I'll admit that my family goes through cycles of disrespect and that I am as guilty as the rest of them. It is with all of this knowledge that I have set a new intention for my family to express our respect for each other every day in every way possible. I mean, sometimes it's just the small things that do it for me. Think of the times your significant other has tip toed out of the bedroom to give you an extra few minutes of sleep, or the kids have given you a spontaneous bear hug, or the times when your whole family finds themselves laughing and dancing in the kitchen after dinner for no reason what so ever. These are the moments in life that I am cherishing right now. These are the moments that I am trying not to let slide by while I am distracted by the TV or paper or internet or my own mind. These moments are the true purpose of my life right now.
It really is amazing to me how much I love these two kids. Sometimes I look at them and am just blown away by the fact that I have two sons! But here's the hitch, the fact that I love them forces me to sometimes put us all through some pretty uncomfortable emotions. If I don't have enough self respect for myself and love for them to gently teach them how to respectfully treat those around them, who will? The last thing I want to do is send my boys out into the world under equipped for dealing with social interactions in a respectful and peaceful manner.
So yes, there has been some serious boundary re fortification around here lately and while it is really uncomfortable at the time, I am holding strong to the belief that teaching my children to respect others is an important lessons and that they will be better people for it.