Zionsville Times Sentinel

January 22, 2014

Obligation vs. opportunity in parenting

Zionsville Times Sentinel

---- — Does parenting ever just wear you out? I know when I've spent a full day teaching our children their lessons, driven them to piano and karate, and thrown in an emotional heart-to-heart, by the end of the day I'm worn out. When it comes time to tuck kiddos into bed, that staircase looks like Mount Everest.

To have the right attitude when greeting my children, I pause at the bottom of the steps to decide -- is the tuck-in an obligation or an opportunity? Clarifying it in my own mind and heart makes all the difference.

To be clear, I love being a mom. Those full days -- they are also some of the best days. Yet they take energy. So, how does a parent find energy when the tank is running dry? It helps to see the next parenting steps as opportunities, not obligations.

Recently my daughter cuddled in my lap to tell me about a nightmare. Someone had trapped her. She described how she was trapped then looked at me with this hurt look on her face and said, "The worst part -- I knew you wouldn't be able to tuck me in." Her sharing gave me a whole new insight.

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.