Today was one of those hard parenting days. I just didn't know how to manage the energy and emotions of my almost-5-year old. Sometimes I felt like I was parenting well-- other times, not so much. I think the key to so much parenting, at least with 2 rambunctious kids at 2 & 4 is trying somehow to keep control of my own emotional response to the craziness. Truly, I feel angry when I see one of my boys push or hit or pull a toy away from his brother. I definitely don't like it when someone tries to hurt me. Managing my reaction to my feelings is hard. I'm re-reading Thich Nhat Hahn's book You Are Here. He writes about knowing that emotions will rise up, remain for a while, and go away. He also talks about having compassion toward the feelings that come up. For example, if I'm feeling sad or angry, instead of trying to stop that feeling (or feeling angry that I feel angry), have compassion toward that feeling. He says to "cradle" that feeling compassionately.
Sometimes I'm not sure I'm well-suited to being the full-time mama. I do a lot better with everything (myself, my kids, the world) when I can be outside a lot. Today I took the kids to a store to get some lighting for our basement, which I am trying to turn into a more open and play-able place (it's not finished). Even though they were great at the store, just having that task in the day and then the task of setting up the new lighting kept us inside a lot. It's a tricky balance to get things done around the house that we need to do and still get the kids outside in the sunshine and air.