I would like to share with you once a month an article or a website that grabbed my attention and that I think and hope might interest you as well.
This month, one of the articles I read that resonated with me is called “The Difficult Empathy of Parenthood”. The article was written by Stacia L. Brown and was published online by BuzzFeed.
The author talks about one of the big struggles of parenting: keeping our cool and acting graciously towards our children even when stress, lack of sleep, anger, frustration (and other negative feelings) take a toll on us.
Our kids are testing our patience every day, many times a day. Most of the times we control ourselves and act with patience when we interact with them, but other times, we do or say hurtful things which we regret later.
I am going to write below a few excerpts from Stacia’s article, but please go here to read the whole article and the comments at the bottom of the article as well. This article is a great reminder that if you ever felt the way I mentioned above, you are not alone. Many of us feel the same way and we all want (and sometimes struggle) to be good parents and act in a respectful way towards our children.“I used to think one of the marks of a horrible mother was cursing at her child. I was raised in the kind of Judeo-Christian household that prided itself on avoiding profanity at all cost. But I also thought using too harsh or berating a tone with a child was an unquestionable form of verbal abuse, whether that tone was peppered with obscenities or not. This was not a gray area; there was no moral quandary. I couldn’t think of any reason a child too small to care for themselves should be made to feel burdensome or annoying for needing care. I still feel that way. But by that reasoning, I have also had my own flashes of horrible mothering, and those flashes have muddled the black-and-white of it all. Those flashes have atrophied the reflexes of my disapproval.”
“Other times, we are in our cars, barely holding it together. We are anxious about any number of things — debt, health, our children’s development or grades or behavior, our relationships with their fathers — and we have wiped and fed and shod and spent our last disposable penny on them, to ensure that they look loved and well-tended. Usually, they are, but it comes at a psychic cost. It costs us our calmness; we are expending more of it than we are replenishing. And if we look in our rearview mirrors just then, depleted as we so often are, the most terrible-sounding things might come out.”
“Children don’t deserve our worst selves. It is neither fair nor their fault that we haven’t mastered our frustrations as parents. And it certainly isn’t their responsibility to compel us to be more patient, more empathetic, or more competent. Because of this, I felt horrible for the kid whose mother cursed at them in that car.”
If you want to read more from Stacia, here is her website. I find her writing beautiful and inspiring. I hope you do too.
What are your thoughts about this article? Do you find your feelings and thoughts reflected into what Stacia writes?