I don’t have to tell you that parenting is filled with frustration and sprinkled with greatness. From the the bedtime struggles to the epic meltdowns in aisle five, there are moments when the magic and beauty of parenting gets lost in the chaos of the everyday. Then, just as quickly, a precious moment appears to make it all worthwhile — and then some.
We take the good with the bad because we have to, but what if there was a way to temper the bad with a more peaceful heart? You’d want to know how, right? Enter the power of the mantra. For thousands of years, the sacred verbalization of mantras have been thought to bring spiritual powers and peaceful redirection to the mind and body. As a wonderful tool for refocusing personal energy, mantras can not only help us manage our frustration, but allow us to shift our attention in a much-needed positive direction.
Let’s take a look at 8 parenting mantras designed to help us through the tough times so we can focus on the joy the follows.
1. This too shall pass.
While the origin of this phrase is shrouded in mystery, I like to think it was first uttered by a mom who managed to catch toddler vomit with her very own hands. When adopted as a mantra, this phrase helps to remind me that moments of household pandemonium are just that — mere blips on the timeline of my parenting journey. From there I can look ahead to better, more beautiful moments to come.
2. I have enough. I do enough. I am enough.
This affirmative mantra comes to us from Kate, the wise and mindful mama behind Picklebums. So often we doubt our level of dedication to the parenting cause. Many of us even regularly doubt our ability as parents. When we make peace with what we have, what we do, and who we are, we can then recognize the blessings contained therein.
3. Be here now.
Shawn at Abundant Mama offers this simple 3-word mantra (Psst! I find the shortest ones are the easiest to remember to use) for when we feel divided by the many demands of parenting. It’s not easy juggling homework, meals, soccer practice, a career, and everything else, but if we just slow down our minds to be present, we’ll find more joy than frustration in our circumstances.
4. Comparison is the thief of joy.
Teddy Roosevelt knew a thing or two about parenting, because this quote serves as an amazing parenting mantra. We’re all guilty of comparing our kids and our family circumstances to others on occasion. When we remind ourselves that comparison actually robs us of earned happiness, we’re better able to appreciate the blessings of what we have.
5. Let them be little.
I’m guilty of expecting more and better from my kids in spite of their ages and maturity levels. Billy Dean’s “Let Them Be Little” reminds me how quickly childhood passes and how unhurried I want their youths to be. Parents, join me in letting them be little, won’t you?
6. Nobody said it was easy.
Part lyric to Coldplay’s “The Scientist,” part something my mom always said, “Nobody said it was easy” pretty much rings true for every parental frustration on the roster. Many of us have a tendency to compare our experiences with what we perceive to be the realities of others (see #4), but parenting isn’t easy for anyone. It’s true that nobody said it was easy, but nobody said it would be this great either.
7. Enjoy it. Because it’s happening.
If this one sounds familiar, it’s because you read or watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower. But think about everything we’re experiencing — the good, the bad, the ugly, and the stinky — is all beautiful because it’s part of living. One day, there will be no spills or hand prints on the wall, no messy rooms or unfinished homework, forgotten lunches or bad grades, there will only be an empty space and a household of memories.
8. I can let go of this.
Child and family therapist Nicole Schwarz of Imperfect Families offers this beautiful mantra filled with grace. The ability to let go of the things we can’t control gives us the strength and permission to move forward with renewed purpose.
Do you have a parenting mantra to share?