I've been meditating over a new mantra this month... trying to make 2021 a positive and productive year. January's Mantra... I am the master of my reality. As I was reflecting on this statement, I began contemplating if this is actually true when it comes to parenting. IMO, parenting is one of the most humbling opportunities in life. Any parent knows, there is so much that is out of our control... our children's health, temperament, learning abilities, athleticism, food preferences (can I get an amen!). As a mom, I feel these very real realities every day, and I know for damn sure, that if I was truly the master of my reality I would make some changes.
When I was a new mom, I felt like sleep was something I had some influence over. However, when my son turned 2.5 years old, began having massive meltdowns at bedtime every night, refused to stay in bed, bedtime sucked the joy out of me daily, and I quickly changed my mind. I felt like no matter what I tried, or how consistently I tried it, I had to resign to the fact that I had no control over my son's actions at bedtime. I tucked my tail between my legs, laid down with him every night so he would end his day happily, without a massive battle, and remained present as he drifted away to dreamland. I thought that if I had to sacrifice my evenings with my husband, or compromise on the way I thought sleep should go, that it was worth it in the name of peace.
Months later, after arguments with my husband about how we don't spend time together in the evenings since, out of exhaustion, I would nod off in my son's bed as I waited for him to fall asleep, and not having adult time of my own, I found the energy to, once again, try to influence the situation. I took a course put on by a Yale professor on changing behavior in children, went through a lot of trial and error applying the scientific strategies to real life, set boundaries, and eventually taught my son how to fall asleep on his own in a peaceful and loving way.
My Catholic School influence creeping in here... but, thinking about all of this immediately brought the Serenity Prayer to the front of my mind. "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
I believe the art of parenting is truly about finding the balance between serenity, courage, and wisdom.
I think today could be your day. I challenge you to let go of the things you truly can't change. However, I also challenge you to find the courage to make some positive changes when it comes to situations you can actually influence. Be the master of your reality.
Katie Ramirez, RN, BSN, CLC
Born Happy, Owner and Coach
Katie Ramirez is a Registered Nurse, Certified Lactation Counselor, and Coach for parents of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. She has spent more than a decade serving patients at major university hospitals such as Vanderbilt University and Penn State University Medical Centers. Katie now spends her time supporting and empowering parents of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers as founder and coach for Born Happy.
Katie is the proud mother of two beautiful children, Roberto (age 7), and Veronica (age 5). She has a passion for health, wellness, and happy children, and believes that, with the necessary knowledge and support, all parents can live happy.
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