Now O. is 4 years old and while her brother has a virtual library ranging from the typical pictures of first haircut all the way to events only a mother would care to remember (like 5-year-old D. with a box on his head) O. only had a pretty pink scrapbook with three puny pages done.
Have I been busy for 4+years? Sure… working (mostly from home) while parenting will keep anyone busy. Julie and I have been especially busy over the last couple of years as we’ve worked to expand what Heart of the Matter Seminars offers to parents. But that wasn’t the real reason my scrapbook stuff just sat collecting dust. The real reason is that it became overwhelming.
Whenever I started to work on Olivia’s pages I would just be overwhelmed by the stacks of pictures that were unorganized, the pictures that were still on the computer, pens whose ink had run dry, and most distressing, a file of pictures spanning about 4 months of her first year that were somehow erased. I wasn’t sure what problem to start with! So, I would turn my attention to something else. The pictures kept collecting (along with the dust!) and it became even more overwhelming as I fell farther behind.
I think that sometimes parenting can be the same way. We all plan to parent well and then things start piling up. Some parents don’t have the tools they need. Some parents know what they need to do but “clutter” in their family’s life gets in the way. Some parents look at the job ahead of them and don’t know where to begin or focus on first. Other times, our efforts seem puny and we feel like we will never be enough for what our child needs.
Bottom line, lots of things can happen but the important thing is to dig in somewhere and get started! Get equipped–even if you start with just one book, one class, one webinar… Try eliminating one “extra” to give yourself a bit more time to be centered and focused on parenting. Seem like too big of a job? Start with one change in your own behavior (parenting behavior) and go from there. It’s true that we all feel inadequate at times and yet if we don’t start somewhere and do something we will surely be inadequate!