"Take a breath. Start again."

I say this to the girls on a regular basis. When they're too frustrated to see clearly. When their thinking is clouded by self-doubt. When they forget that they are capable, good-hearted people.

I'm saying it to myself a lot lately.

It's not a news flash to anyone that this parenting gig is impossibly hard. And yet I find myself amazed at just how complex and challenging it is to raise these little human beings. Every day I fear the time for character development is already behind us, that I have failed them in some major, irretrievable way.

Suddenly my seven year old seems so big. So separate. So OLD.

I've never been interested in regrets, as it's clearly unhealthy to spend too much time thinking about them, but I sometimes lie awake and think about what I would do differently with her. Sometimes, especially late at night, I hunger to go back in time and try again.

There are many things that I would do differently but mostly this: every time I've stood in front of my child, filled frustration and fear, I would pause, breathe, and walk away instead of opening my mouth.

It feels so necessary at the time - CLEARLY I NEED TO SAY SOMETHING TO FIX THIS - but it isn't. It just isn't.

Since I don't have the option of taking anything back or starting anything over, I will do this.

I will take a breath. I will start again.


Laura Diniwilk said...

I needed this today, thank you! Beautiful pic :)

idena said...

Oh I needed this reminder. The past few days I have not stopped to take a breath to start again, and now have many regrets. It took years for me learn to do this (I was so bad when I first became a parent) and I feel as if I went back to my old ways in just a few stressful days.

Hillary said...

Oh lady. I know this feeling so well.

Pamela Hunt Cloyd said...

I remember when Oliver was 2 weeks old and I had this happy thought that I hadn't screwed anything up yet. I don't feel like that way now:(

k said...

"Take a breath. Start again."

I would like this hung in my house. Thank you for this.

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