Forget the tricks, lets go for treats.
Parenting alone is one of the largest jobs if not the largest job we will ever do as people who choose to have children. It starts much before we actually become parents for many of us and extends for years beyond when we think it perhaps would have ended. With the Halloween aftermath surrounding me I am reminded that children are quite motivated by rewards, especially those that are sweet and double down in the sugar department. Often times as parents we give our children short term rewards in order to maintain their focus on longterm goals. It is a tried and true method to offer a child the reward of a fresh baked cookie if they finish their dinner or the ability to watch a special show if they finish all their homework or chores. As adults we realize that often times the work can feel like a weight and validating a child in the feeling that the weight of life is counterbalanced with joy is a wonderful tool to give them which they can unfold at every crossroads of life. So now, moms and dads. Lets do a little self reflection…we understand the concept that short term goals help with managing long term goals. We also know that reminding ones self about the benefits gained from all the hard work done help us to stay on track and enable continual successes.
I realized that as parents we look at our new born children, our precious, blank canvases that are genuinely as close to perfection as we can imagine and we want them to have a life filled with laughter, love, successes of their own, joy and adventure. We parent each and every day with these goals in mind. We remind them to brush their teeth a thousand times to prevent future pain, we feed them healthy meals every day to prepare them for the world they are growing into and to give them an awareness of their health and longevity. We read to them every night so that they can understand the wide breadth of rules in our English language in hopes that they can succeed in school. We spend countless hours dedicated to the longest goals we have ever set for ourselves and yet where are our short term rewards? We have moments with them that melt our heats, yes but I think we need more than that. I think that we as parents are allowed to reward ourselves daily, weekly, monthly for a job well done. For the work we are doing and the focus we are maintaining. So I give you permission to award yourself after a long day and truly enjoy it, tell yourself you deserve it and remind yourself that you are in a marathon and unless you give yourself the nourishment, you will not be able to sustain the run. So find that bag of Halloween candy that you looked at and immediately assessed as “naughty” and pick out your favorite piece every day and eat it like you deserve it because you know what? YOU DO!
I am a mother, not a wizard. I share what is hard, what is scary and what is real. The rest I leave to you.