Thursday, August 1, 2013

Letting Go of Irritation

“Smartass Disciple: Master, that guy’s teaching is somehow annoying me.
Master of Stupidity: Only as long as you stay tuned for pissed-off channel.” ― Toba Beta

One of the things that's so hard about being a parent is staying in the moment, and choosing happiness.  It's so easy to slip into what I like to call the reptile mind of parenting, where everything your kid does is a repetitive annoyance, set in motion specifically to irritate and inconvenience you.  This is especially true when you haven't had sufficient sleep, coffee, food, or social interaction, or when your kid hasn't had a nap or has in some other way impinged on your accustomed personal time.

It's an easy mindset to get into, the reptile mind, and hard to get out of, because it requires mindfulness, which is a pretty hot commodity in parenting.  If you can manage to realize that you're being irrationally irritated by your kid, then you have to figure out your way out of it.  My best method is usually to engage in play with Maeve and just fake it till I make it.  If I can act interested in Play-Doh or pretending to be C3PO for the fiftieth time that day, I will usually get to a place where I'm having fun again, and that total inner annoyance will dissipate.

Sometimes I have to try and remember what it felt like to be a kid when adults were annoyed with me.  If I can remember how it felt when I could tell that adults wished I wasn't there, then I can stop myself from making Maeve feel that way.

And I try to remember, she will not be three forever, that the demanding, forceful personality may not persist as she gets older.  She won't always want me to be C3PO or play Play-Doh with her, so even though it seems like a full time job now, it won't last forever.  

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