I’ve mentioned before how my inner voice is rarely complimentary. It is harsh and critical and the source of my self doubt. Becoming a parent has given fuel to that voice, as if the very existence of my children has provided all the evidence it ever needed that it was right.
I have been working long and hard at both ignoring that voice, and at changing its dialogue.
So it doesn’t help when my actual voice comes out of one of my children’s mouths, and when that voice that I hear back is harsh or critical too. Like the time my 5 year old said “Jesus” in exasperation. That was me coming from her. Or the many, many times my not quite two year old says “stop it” in a fierce and ferocious way. That’s me too (although to be fair, that’s also a bit of my husband!).
When this happens, I berate myself. For not being calmer, more positive, more in control. It’s hard to remember that it’s ok not to be better than I am. It’s hard to remind myself that them seeing an imperfect parent is healthy, so that they won’t pressure themselves to be more than they can be when they are older too.
So I generously and selfishly took silent credit this morning when my daughter was teaching her younger brother about colours. “What’s this one baby? It’s yellow. Yell..ow”, she said in a gentle sing-song voice. My voice, coming from her. “Lellow”, he replied. “Well done!” she exclaimed, in a coaching, encouraging, loving way. My voice coming from her.