Love Over Fear In Parenting
We can improve all of our relationships with more connection!
Becoming a mother was something I always knew I wanted to do, and yet when it finally happened, I was absolutely terrified and I found myself making all of my decisions from a place of fear. I “knew” as truth that there was a right way to do the whole parenting thing and if I didn’t do it right, my child’s life would never be ok. I was afraid of the day to day things and her safety but I was also afraid of the less tangible things like her behavior, her moral compass, and her navigation of the world. As a result of this, every decision I made was made from a place of fear, not love. I judged my children’s every action, word, and decision, which (I am ashamed to say) often had me looking at my girls with eyes that said “you are not what you are supposed to be”. This fear and judgment created separation - and incredible amounts of guilt- the opposite of how I wanted my relationship to my children to be. This parenting style relied on my ability to control outcomes through yelling, threatening, and punishing. And here is the worst part- I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do, that my kids were just difficult and that’s why it was so hard! (I feel so much compassion for this version of myself now- she was just doing the best she could with what she had).
I am lucky enough to have finally gotten to the point where the pain and guilt of the yelling and separation was stronger than my fear of honestly looking at my shame and finding a new way- and coaching was the support I needed to make meaningful changes in my parenting and my relationships with my kids! With the support of a coach, I identified what I wanted the relationships to look like, and who I had to be and how I had to behave in order to achieve that vision. I recognized the false stories I had created and found more empowering ones. I identified potential obstacles and how to work through them, as well as who and what would support me and hold me accountable as I worked through this process. And as I did my work through this process, with the loving guidance and support of a coach, I watched my relationships with my daughters transform. It was truly amazing! I am still not perfect, but those moments when I do lose my cool and yell or find myself in judgment of my girls I am more quickly able to recognize and repair my transgressions.
If you find yourself struggling with parenting, or any other relationship, I want you to know that you are not alone and you can create change in these relationships!