Guilt Trips {How Parents Can Step off and Start Connecting}

IMG_8199Wait... Is this an All Inclusive type of trip? Normally I would be jumping up and down but not for this one! The All Inclusive guilt trip means you spend your day feasting on stress and contained by worry.

Am I doing enough? Will it matter? Does it mean anything?

No thank you. I have enough in and out moments like this throughout the week!

I try (most of the time) to focus in and give my kids at least some undivided attention during the day.

It can be hurried, and not as warm and cozy as I would like.

I do however know better than to let them talk to the wall instead of my face, the top of my head as I scroll through Instagram, or out the window because I am on a frantic cleaning spree. It happens, but I'm aware that it can't be every time they are speaking.

Seems like each time they walk in the kitchen to tell me something, they have grown 12 inches and voices have become grown up. Internally I say something like, "Soon this wont be happening every day. Let them into your day...the investment now will pay off later!"

Even if the sponge in my hand is dripping with soap because I was about to wipe off last nights dinner from the stove can wait 5 minutes.

Listening shows them how valuable they are. Stopping what you are doing to listen... now that is a whole new level of valued.

Regularly I get the "did I give them my best"  Mom guilty feeling of urgency just like you might. I may never get the opportunity to hear what my 6th grade son has to say If I don't listen to him right then.

Speaking of trips, do you ever feel like parenting hearts is like directing traffic?

Like you are standing in the middle of an intersection holding up one hand to the oncoming question saying "wait - stay right there" while motioning the other lane to keep it coming - keep on coming.

To my right, a super cute dirty blonde son with eyelashes to kill asks, "Mom whats for dinner?" for the 582nd time that week. Classic. Every day, multiple times a day.

Straight ahead a very tall, and helpful son pipes up to share about his day in class and I want to lean in closely because he doesn't get many chances to speak uninterrupted.

Sitting in another room but still talking like we are all in there, is another son who is re-telling the same epic story for the 3rd time just to make sure we all got it. I want to keep his heart too.

Did I forget the mention I was also holding a toddler while marinating chicken and trying to keep the 2nd grade daughter on task with her handwriting that brought tears earlier in the day?

School planners need to be read and signed, football cleats need to be ordered, we are about to have our first-born driving so he's looking for a car...and the summer mowing business has not slowed down.

Did someone say trip?

The truth is that catching those conversations when they come to you, assuring them that you heard them, and checking in daily with how they are doing is accomplishing more than you think!

We can only be so much to so many right?

There is no room for guilt, but plenty of space for connecting.

So connect and make sure they know you are genuine.

Rather than feel guilty because we don't do parenting like ____, or our kids aren't turning out like ____. We can choose to commit to the people at our feet and in our kitchen and include them. It is no mistake that you are their parent, these are the moments you get.

Creating margin for your brain to clear each day is a mandatory Mom skill that I have improved upon over the span of my parenting journey.

In order to be genuine (truth) I require silent space. Some of you don't need it, so party on! If you are a more present parent because you've had time to step out/hide out...make it happen.

As my kids get older and mature, our conversations and time together mirror less of a routine childhood relationship and more about adolescent life coaching.

Guilt does not grow us. It robs us of precious time.IMG_0020

Being realistic in the way we connect with our kids, grows us and them. It allows us to need God to intervene and teaches our kids healthy balance.

Next time your mind gets on the Guilt Trip, you can step off and remind yourself that being present is huge in the life of your kids. Give them a piece of your day and just see how both of your hearts expand.