Monday, July 19, 2010

Keeping Gentle

I had a great childhood and was lucky in many, many ways but there is much that I want to change for my child and for my (God willing) future children. My parents came from families of 11 and 8 and a generation that struggled to make ends meet. A time when putting food on the table for such families was a real struggle. My Mother grew up with a father who was loving but was also an alcoholic. Sadly many of his children, including my Mother struggled with addiction in their adult lives. My Father's mother came to this country when she was 6 months old. She and my Grandfather worked incredibly hard and built a family farm. Parenting back then had a completely different set of rules, as did society, so I refuse to place judgement on their choices but instead I hope to learn from them.

My parents made a huge effort to stop the cycle of violence and for that I am beyond thankful. I have amazing memories of growing up on a beautiful farm playing dress up on the prairie, ice skating on our pond, riding horses... living a dream childhood in many ways. I am so grateful for the many gifts I was given by my parents and now get to share with Button. I also remember my parents being angry and yelling. I remember being fearful of them at times... and I remember how much addiction ruled them. My Mom has been gone for a nearly 4 years. I miss her so much it hurts, she was my best friend. She never got to meet her granddaughter and now I'm left to forge this path of Motherhood on my own. I'm left wondering about her choices as a parent and I have so many questions for her that are left open ended. I wonder if I would ask her these questions if she were here or if it would be something I'd avoid so not to cause conflict.

I have promised myself that things would be different for my children and now as my daughter is nearing toddlerhood when emotions run high and my patience is tested at every step and every new skill, I wonder how exactly I will do this. How am I going to practice something that I have very little knowledge of? I've done so much reading on gentle parenting... and gosh does it speak to the very fibers of soul. This is the path I want to take in my journey as a mother and as a wife, friend, person. I want to be the gentle mother many you are. I've followed many of your blogs and am in complete awe of the gentle spirit that seems to come so naturally to you.

On my own I've found ways that help me keep centered. Prayer has helped me so much in moments of frustration the most. A few Hail Mary's really seem to bring things into perspective. But still, I can do better. I can be better! If anyone out in blog world is listening I'm all ears... How do you keep gentle?

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