Our passions lead us astray. Our emotions get involved in the wrong sort of way... I had to learn that day that my desires and wants needed to be tamed. I saw how embarrassing it was for my daughter to see her mother in a very out of control way.
The last thing I want is in 20 years, when we are sitting around a dinner table talking about when they were younger, for them to say, “I always felt like I was competing for your attention with your phone.” Ouch!
This idea of inner balance and attaining inner peace is not a modern concept. The ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, discussed the idea of temperance or moderation in his theory of “The Golden Mean.”
Temperance is hard character strength to manage because it’s likely the one that we as parents struggle with the most ourselves, whether it’s buying too much stuff, eating too much or buying too many toys for our kids.
You see, we can find ourselves in such a rush and whirlwind of life that we forget we have to help our children learn how to do basic chores, such as pulling up sheets and blankets until they meet the end of the mattress.
As a stay at home mom, I pick up toys 236 times a day (or at least it seems that way). Are these my toys? No. Do I want/need help? YES. So, I have enlisted my crew to HELP! All ages are involved and each has an important purpose in this character building task.
Empathy and selflessness are not always caught and sometime must be taught.
Yet, the questions remain. Why is it that it is so very difficult to help at times? Despite the positive practice of “paying it forward” or the karmic idea of “what goes around comes around”, there is still this difficulty in putting the needs of your neighbor before those of your own.
It was an opportunity for us to have a positive conversation about helpfulness. These conversations flow so much easier while riding the wave of a success. The more we’ve talked about it, the more she has beamed with pride. Better yet, she’s looking for new ways to replicate that feeling.
My kids stood in the doorway silent and shocked. This was not normal morning behavior from either of us. Just then, a change happened.
Valentine’s Day is more than over-the-top Facebook posts; it’s an opportunity to show all of those closest to us just how much we love them, including our single pals. While this holiday can be tough for them, I think more than likely they just want to be supported and seen authentically as our dear friend, not as a project to be fixed.
The pressure started to come off of me because I realized I had more helping hands around the house, and it wasn’t up to me to clean up after all four kids all the time.
In the kitchen, you won’t find screens vying for our attention. We’re talking. We’re laughing. We’re listening to what at least one of us insists is good music. We’re bonded by a shared experience and a common purpose.
What is the goal of doing the laundry? The immediate goal is to turn dirty clothes back to clean clothes. But the further goal–the more important goal–is to have my family ready for the day or the occasion. And being ready for the day or occasion is about the even more important goal of being happy people who live flourishing lives.
I got caught up in purpose being defined as “making a difference with big impact.” For me, I was always comparing my purpose to being a doctor’s purpose of saving lives. I needed my purpose to be big, powerful and life changing. Well, I had it all wrong. I wasn’t meant to be a doctor and to save lives, at least not in that specific way. That wasn’t the purpose God had for me.
Is this my purpose? A referee? A conflict-negotiations facilitator? The bad guy? All of which are unpaid positions working nights and weekends with no vacation time or overtime. And if this is it, I may have made an uninformed decision.
The “right time” has to be made with PURPOSE and togetherness. It might mean sacrificing the first 20 minutes of your nightly down time of watching your favorite show or putting off your bath for a few extra minutes…
We are sounding out words a lot these days, in our home. Interestingly, helping my children with their reading has helped me slow down and focus in a whole different way! When a child is learning to…
What I have found to be sustaining, especially over the life of being a mom, is the idea of mission. When we have mission, we ultimately have a bigger picture of goals to create!
It’s that time of year, when the “new year, new me” posts come out of the floodgates, full of optimism and vision. It’s not to say that these aspirations might eventually become hopeless, but you wonder if behind all of these fabulous goals exists an actual plan to get the job done.
We are Families of Character. We believe in joy-filled parents, and virtue can help get you there.
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Every month we choose a new virtue to focus on, setting goals for ourselves, our children and the entire family. Stay up to date with weekly articles from parents sharing their experiences as they themselves strive for personal and family growth.