“This is the best breakfast I’ve EVER had!” – Cinnamon pancakes.
“This morning adventure is amazing!” – A nature walk through our local park.
“Mommy, you always have the best ideas!” – Painting sticks found on the nature walk.
“This was the best family day of my life.” – Daddy had a day off.
Children, by design, are optimistic. They are also incredibly easy to please (most of the time, anyway). They spend their days enjoying every little thing.
They find beauty in a dried up flower, fallen from a rose bush. They find wonder in a group of ants working toward a common goal. The collect treasures found along their walks and put those treasures in very special places. They savor the taste of fresh cut fruit and chase butterflies without fail.
Children generally manage to find happiness no matter the circumstances.
But parents…are a different story.
Parents have worries. Parents have responsibilities. Parents can’t always find the time to stop and smell the roses.
Parents, regardless of work status, have a tendency to get sucked into the parenting vortex. Something absolutely always needs doing.
Lately, I’ve been taking a cue from my little ones.
Yes, there are things that need doing.
Yes, I can often be found folding laundry at 10pm, still drenched in sweat from my late night workout…because otherwise there just isn’t time.
Yes, my house is not quite as Monica-Geller-organized as it once was.
But there will be time for that later.
For right now, I’m focusing on optimism.
I’m avoiding all-or-nothing words like can’t, won’t, never, always, and impossible.
I’m chasing dreams and making efforts to make those dreams come true.
I’m enjoying every little moment, savoring those cinnamon pancakes, and taking a moment to smell my beautiful roses.
And, more importantly…
I’m parenting with optimism.
I’m letting the small moments of frustration remain just that: Small moments.
I’m parenting in the present.
I’m separating my personal goals from my parenting time and playing my days away. The rest can certainly wait.
I’m playing cars, drawing castles, and making homemade play doh.
I’m telling stories, reading chapter books, and chasing those butterflies.
And, because optimism is contagious, we are all a little bit better for it.
Do you parent with optimism?