Parenting without the Pessimism

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Recently, I’ve developed a habit I’m not particularly proud of. On more occasions than I’d like to admit, I’ve heard myself say, “I don’t know why I’m wasting my time, I’m just going to (insert some overdramatic, blanket generalization).” For example, “I don’t know why I’m wasting my time, I’m just going to feed my kids pseudo-food from McDonalds for every meal!” Or, “I don’t know why I’m wasting my time, I’m enrolling the kids in the local school tomorrow!”

I’m hoping it’s just the hormones (because I really don’t want to have to admit that this yucky behavior just developed from my otherwise charming personality), but, lately, I start feeling defeated so easily.

My hubby buys the kiddos a gatorade from the gas station on a road trip. Suddenly, I feel all my efforts to avoid certain ingredients have been undermined.

A family member exposes my kids to something I would prefer my children remain naive about for the present time. Now, I believe that all efforts to protect their innocence have been thwarted.

We have a day with less-than-stellar sharing skills, and I think all of my character building lessons have been a waste.

I don’t know why I’ve fallen into this pattern of pessimism and frustration, but I was so grateful to stumble upon this graphic last night before bed.  It was a message I really needed to hear/be reminded of. My efforts with my children do matter. Every effort, no matter how small. And, although they are going to see/hear/do things that contradict those efforts, my efforts are not in vain. The example I set matters. The lessons I teach matter. I am forming my children and helping them become who they were meant to be. Other influences matter, too, but they don’t void mine.

My hope is that this seemingly insignificant graphic has shaken me out of my little defeatist rut. It’s time to change my attitude and get back to parenting without the pessimism.

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4 thoughts on “Parenting without the Pessimism

  1. Your husband an the Gatorade reminded me so much of my hubby! He is so prone to doing stuff like that or filling them up with McDonalds or donuts! No matter how much I try to feed them healthy stuff or tell them “no farting with your arm” is not funny, he seems to undo it! It is frustrating but you are right. Other people will influence your children and there will come a time when they will have to make the decisions themselves but your influence and guidance is prob their most important and will mould them into wonderful young adults :)

  2. This so reminds me of this one time. We were eating ice cream and my daughter only had her first solids for a week. Some relatives were trying to give my daughter a taste of it but I went around with my daughter to avoid the ice cream. But one time when I got busy talking to a cousin, my grandmother slipped ice cream in her tiny mouth. So, there was nothing I could do. Grandmothers really do spoil their grandchildren that way.

  3. Oh, Janet, I know exactly what you mean! My dad is the worst about that. It’s a game for him to slip chocolate pudding or cool whip or something similar to one of my infants at holiday gatherings. Then he laughs an evil laugh and jokes for months about how he’s tarnished my little’s pure stomach. It drives me CRAZY but he thinks it’s really funny.

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