One of the hardest things to do is let go. Whether it is letting go of anger and resentment, or letting go of children little by little so that they can go out into the world and live their own lives. Those are big things to let go of. Let's talk about the ways in which we could let go every day to make parenting less stressful and more enjoyable.
Just the other day I was decorating the tree with my kids. Before kids, I color coordinated the tree every year. Ornaments where hung with care to make sure that they were spaced well and not too many of one color was in a bunch. I had a vision for my tree and made it happen. Enter two kids who have their own ideas of what the tree should be. They hang ornaments by color clusters, they hang as many as they can in one section, and they pick ornaments of every color. My oldest thought it would be fun to have just one blue ornament in the tree. The type A control freak in me was having a hard time with this.
I took a deep breath.Stepped back. Looked at the big picture. The kids were having fun. There is no consequence in life for having color clusters in your tree or having colors I would not have chosen myself. Instead, I chose to let go. Let go of my desire for the perfect tree (perfect in my eyes at least). I focused on the time we are spending together, the joy they are experiencing from decorating this tree just they way they want. Once I let go, I was able to enjoy this process with them. I loved sitting back and watching their incitement as they worked to decorate the tree. They were creating something that they found beautiful. The process mattered more than the outcome.
I am thankful for this small reminder. Like every other parent, I too can get caught up in the list of to-dos or feel the need to ensure a certain outcome. These small moments are a reminder to slow down and let go. Let my children be free to explore, experiment, enjoy, and create without any influence from expectations (both mine or their own).
Claudia Glassman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Play Therapist, and Parent Coach. Mighty Oak Parenting was started as a way for her to share all the things she learned from being a therapist as well as a parent. Her vision is to share her knowledge and bring awareness to the importance of the relationship that we have with our children.
**Disclaimer: This blog is the opinion of an individual and is not to be construed as professional advice or a professional relationship. If you are seeking mental health advice contact a therapist in your area. If you are experiencing an emergency, head to your nearest emergency room or call 911