Many years ago, I had a friend whose parenting style differed vastly from mine. It was never an issue except around sleep. Now anyone who knows me understands that I protect my sleep like a mama lion protects her cubs! I have never been someone who could "get by" on a couple hours of sleep, and I have come to honour and respect the fact that I feel better, see the world better (and frankly behave better) when I've had at least eight hours of sleep. Our differences came to a head one day when she called to invite me, my husband and our then 18 month old for an afternoon get together. Now this was not new. She graciously included us in all sorts of gatherings at her home, but we often declined because these events seemed to consistently conflict with when our daughter would be sleeping. At the time, our daughter slept religiously from one o'clock in the afternoon until approximately four o'clock, and this time was sacred to me. Sometime I napped too, sometimes I caught up on household chores, and sometimes I did nothing. Moreover, I believed that this time was sacred for our daughter. She needed that rest. She seemed to relish the routine of stories and snuggles before I gently put her to bed. Protecting that time was as important to me as breathing and eating.
So on that day, she called again inviting me to a gathering at her home and when I gingerly asked what time, she said it would be at three o'clock. So, feeling like a broken record, I politely declined saying that my daughter would be sleeping. I remember her snapping at me saying, "You can't run your life around her sleep schedule, you know!" Well, I don't remember exactly what I said, but I do remember how I was feeling. I felt frustrated and my feelings were hurt that she wasn't respecting my decision to honour what I felt was sacred.
What I realize now is that she gave me a wonderful, most unexpected gift: she challenged my views on things which gave me pause to really examine if what I was doing was a truth for me. While I didn't realize it at the time, she helped me gain confidence, stand firm in my decisions that resonated for me and my family. I realized that I was taking her reaction personally, which I know now does not serve me (or her) and that it's not her job to make me feel good about my decisions.
Parenting spiritually allows us to listen to our intuition, follow our hearts and stay strong within ourselves even in the face of those who disagree with our views or choose to do things differently. It's about tuning into what resonates in our core for ourselves, our children, our family. Ultimately it's about celebrating that your child(ren) chose YOU for very specific reasons (and one of them may just be to protect nap time!! ;-) ).
Christine Marrin has relished her role as mother for the last ten years. She is passionate about raising our collective consciousness about joyfully connecting to our children and empowering them to connect with their spirits. She celebrates that her greatest learning has come from her children. She is a former elementary school teacher.
For daily parenting thoughts, visit: www.facebook.com/christinemarrinspiritualparenting .
She can be reached at: email@example.com or 905-836-6877