Each day, we wash, brush, feed, change, teach, encourage, reinforce, discipline, wake up, put to bed, play with, entertain, and love, love, love. With our daily, non-negotiable responsibilities of parenting our little ones, how or where do we get our rewards, reinforcement and validation to mark our success? Of course, it takes concentration and intense scrutiny some days to find it and other times locating my reward is quick and obvious.
I was discussing with my husband today the difference between our jobs. He is able to see a completed project, file the project away in the completed projects file and receive a pay cheque and pay raise as a measure of his success. Alternatively, I am able to be with my child for a great amount of time as they are learning, developing and growing and my reward may be an encouraging word from my child or a hug at the end of a day. Sometimes I can see my reward, sometimes I have a tough time noticing that I was rewarded today.
My payment comes in many forms, and I will never be able to file away a completed file folder but I will receive my children’s love, respect and admiration as my pay cheque for my continuous, predictable presence in their lives. I don’t receive my payment bi-weekly, monthly or on any regular payment schedule but I can guarantee the payment is ready to be cashed whenever I want to receive it. I need to embrace that smile from across the room, the call for “mommy” because I’m the only one who will satisfy their present need and the hugs or sloppy kisses. My payment does not buy groceries, or new shoes but it does fill my heart and family with love and I will continue to work at it to build our relationship to last a lifetime.
What do you mark on your ‘scoreboard’ to track your parenting success?
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