A Little Parent-couragement
As I sit here with my bare bottom, potty training toddler in my lap, hoping he doesn't pee on me, I can't help but think about how much my response to the actions of my children will assist in shaping them into the people that they will become later on in life. After two successes and two steps backward in our potty training adventure yesterday, I felt myself losing my patience. The accidents always seem to happen at the absolute worst times, but I had to reel it back in and know that if I showed any anger/disappointment in him, it would likely only set us back in this little journey that really only lasts for a short while in this lifetime. And nobody wants to move backwards when it comes to potty training, nor do I want my baby boy to ever ever EVER feel like a disappointment.
My daughter has reached the "Mommy, watch this!" phase of childhood, and talks non-stop. As someone who is a fan of quiet, it's hard for me to maintain a patient demeanor when I'm constantly asked to "watch" or "look." But then that burdensome "mommy guilt" tries to creep in when I hear myself say things like, "Mommy's busy, I can't watch every little thing you do!" I never want my daughter to feel like mommy isn't there for her.
Obviously, the reality of life is that I am NOT perfect. I am not able to watch my daughter show me how she can wiggle her eyebrows for the millionth time while I'm cooking dinner. I may miss getting my little guy to the toilet due to being in the middle of a client email. And that's ok!! My inner monologue, however, is constantly reminding me of how I could do things better. Sometimes it comes before I say or do anything, and other times it comes as an after thought following what I said in the heat of the moment when my temper wasn't under control. Usually showing me the big fat mistake I just made!
But what brings me through my mom "failures" is the forgiveness of my children. The understanding I receive when my daughter accepts my apology for mommy getting angry too quickly. And the sweet hug from my little guy who is always ready to welcome me back as his most favorite momma ever after I've been too busy to give him my undivided attention!
Have you ever wondered how your children look at you when you aren't looking? Do you notice just how they look at you even when you are looking? Your children think Mommy and Daddy are the best people on planet earth when they're little. With any luck and tons of prayer, that will carry into their teenage years(even though they may not express it the same) and into adulthood when you can actually become the best of friends with them and discipline starts to take a backseat to allowing them to live their lives.
That's honestly the thing I love most about photographing families in the way that I do. It allows parents to see what their kids are like at times when they're not around(the good and the bad), and provides them with a perspective of exactly how much they love, and even more importantly of exactly how much they ARE loved! The photo below is a prime example of that very thing. That look on my daughter's face is one that I never want to forget. After sharing it in the Facebook world, it was pointed out to me by one of my incredible Momma clients(thank you Becky!!) just how much love was in my daughter's face as she looked at mine! That made this photo that much more important and valuable to me when I received that reminder! Yes, even I forget. (I told you I wasn't perfect.)
It's so easy to over look the glances of affection, or the certain ways our children watch us. It's truly a beautiful thing, and one that I believe we as parents need to be made aware of in order to help reassure us that we are doing the best that we can possibly do!
So parents, know that even when you're not the "perfect" Mom and Dad, your children still cherish, love, appreciate, and admire you more than you will likely ever realize! Those big cheesey grins happen even when you're not looking.
And the absolute best thing we can do as parents is to love as big as we can, discipline when the time comes, and give as much of ourselves as life realistically allows. The rest of the time, remain confident that even though you can't be 100% invested in every single, less than exciting, "watch this" moment, that you are doing the best you can to let your child know you love them more than life itself.
Keep it real,
If you're thinking "I want to see just how much my family members love and are loved", then click the button below and let's start planning our session together!
Olive Shoot Photography
Houston Family Photographer
Houston Family Documentary Photographer
Houston Family Photojournalist