We have this cat named Peach. She's a complete people person. She follows me around when the kids aren't home and wants to be in my lap whenever possible. I think I've mastered the art of typing and mousing with a cat over my forearms.
This morning I sat down at my computer to write a guest post for a parenting blog. Peach jumped up into my lap as usual. She quickly settled and I began writing.
As I stopped and started and stopped again, I realized it’s because the world of parenting and how to do it is rife with pitfalls - defensiveness, judgment and ridicule. And that’s on a good day.
I was worried about how I would be perceived. I had fallen into the trap of defensiveness and insecurity before even writing anything!
Perhaps it’s because we’ve all been on at least one side of a parenting relationship; we all have ideas about what works and what doesn’t. It’s easy to feel judged by others for parenting choices or for how we identify ourselves (SAHP, working mom, home-schooler, slacker mom, that mom, the list goes on…).
And perhaps – and I think this is the key – I was feeling susceptible to defensiveness because I’ve been busy judging myself. As I mentioned last time, it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing around here lately.
I have been working on allowing myself to be seen just as I am – letting go of fear of judgment. That can be a pretty tricky feat when the judge lives so close to home.
And so, putting the writing aside, I begin again. That is, I begin again down this path of self-acceptance and authenticity. And so, with each breath...
...I begin again and tell myself that my worth is not measured by how content my family seems at a given moment.
...I begin again and tell myself that my worth is not measured by how clean my bathroom is.
...I begin again and acknowledge that I have something worth sharing.
...I begin again, asking myself, “What’s important here?”
...I begin again to breath into the notion that I am on solid ground right where I am standing.
It’s the solid ground of this moment. Solid, and yet soft. Allowing lives here, as does permission and ease. I suddenly noticed the purring, warm ball of cat in my lap, and I realized that she is my metaphor for today: solid, yet soft and at ease - with no expectations or need to be anything other than what she is.
All I had to do was make a conscious choice to begin again, to create a shift using my breath and notice what was present. And, low and behold, I found Peach.
I suspect that parenting piece won’t be quite so difficult to write from here.