I do not claim to be a parenting expert. I don’t prescribe to an absolute theory or method. I go mostly by my intuition, assessing results, and making the necessary adjustments.
I repeat this process many times. Many, many times.
But the one thing that I feel that I am doing right is telling my kids to practice kindness.
I don’t like telling them to be nice because if they aren’t nice, then it is implied that they are bad. And I am just not comfortable with that.
So instead I say, “Practice kindness.” Sometimes you nail it, sometimes you don’t. And as the wise Happy Monster Band says, “Practice makes progress.” You can just try again.
I am going to take my own advice and practice kindness towards myself, which is my theme for 2014.
I totally push myself all the time – to keep my blog afloat, to keep my teaching deadlines, to keep my mental and physical health in check, to be present for my kids. And I love the feeling of fitting it in – it is an adrenaline high for me. But that adrenaline high only lasts so long. And once it is quickly gone, I am tired and wished I had been gentler with myself. Yet being kind to myself is always last on my list.
Well, kindness and sleep.
In January, I am exhausted, lost in a haze of balancing holiday madness and everyday stuff. I usually just power through and fight the urge to rest. But this January, practicing kindness means making sure I get enough sleep. Nothing trips up my perspective more than not getting enough sleep. Ironically, it is the first thing I cut when things get hectic.
This month, I am going to make sleep a priority. That will probably mean more hat days and less makeup, and I am totally OK with that. I am really looking forward to seeing how I feel after a month of being well rested. Because I seriously can’t remember what that feels like.
Do you have a theme for 2014? Do you have any goals that you are working on? I’d love to hear about them.