The Peaceful Parenting Choice of Not Writing a Peaceful Parenting Post.




I write here (and do most of my work for running my business) in the mornings and the evenings, apart from the time I spend actively parenting my kids. I get up early, and I work after their bedtime. Last night was my turn to "give bed" and Pete was at a class.

For many days transitioning the kids toward sleep has taken longer and longer. The sun is shining later, the neighborhood is alive with sounds, and spring fever is upon them. They giggle and fidget and argue and complain and talk and pop out of bed until an hour or more after bedtime.

Last night was no different.

And my work was waiting. And the Peaceful Parenting series was waiting (you didn't get a new post this week, and Friday was coming fast). And my one brief break from parenting for the day was waiting. (And if I could get my work done fast enough my kitting would be waiting too.)

I found myself getting frustrated. Irritated. Short with my kids. Wanting to scream, "Hurry up and go to sleep FOR GOODNESS SAKE so that I can go and write about being a better mom. DO IT NOW!"

(No, I didn't say it.) I was, however, terse with them for a minute, walked out of the bedroom, and sat down in the dark living room to collect myself. I took a few deep breaths and everything came into focus. Was I really being impatient with them so I could help you become more patient with yours?

I went back to their room. I apologized. I asked them what they needed. We looked for a solution. I told them what I needed. (Some time for myself. Some time for my work. Their help in smoothing out the bumps in the road to bedtime. More quiet-laying-in-bed time after we said goodnight.) I assured them that sleep would indeed come if they stopped coming out to tell me that they were still awake. We hugged and kissed and cuddled once more and said our "I love you"s once more too.

And then…

They went to sleep.

It was an hour later than usual (which meant that I didn't have time to write) but they went to sleep just the same. They always fall asleep. But sometimes I stop being graceful along the way.

And so this week there will be no NVC parenting post. Because making the conscious choice to be a more peaceful mother seemed like better parenting than writing that post could have ever been.

I chose to be patient and present with my kids, to connect, to apologize, to choose a more nurturing path than punishment or reward could ever provide, to look for the feeling behind the behavior, and to validate. I chose to stop, re-boot, and remember what kind of mom I want to be.

And then I drank my tea and went to bed. No writing, no knitting, just tea. And I fell asleep knowing that last night being a better parent was far more important than writing about it parenting could ever be.


14 thoughts on “The Peaceful Parenting Choice of Not Writing a Peaceful Parenting Post.

  1. KC says:

    Well done! I’m actually so happy to hear that you too get frustrated in the same way I do sometimes. Another NVC parent told me that by letting go of MY expectations what should be happening that they will just fall in place. I think you did the post though. You showed us a real life example. 🙂

  2. Marian says:

    But this post with a real life example of what we can do to be more peaceful parents fits right in! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Rachel Wolf says:

    Sure, they can fall into place. But there are better days and worse days. Sometimes they fall into place, sometimes you find yourself screaming into a pillow. For example. 😉

  4. Robyn says:

    Ugh, bedtime! It’s probably the thing in parenting i have the most issues with. it’s so hard for me to stay patient when the 3 year old is running like a crazy person and all i want is for her to come lay in bed with me so i can go to sleep. i’ve gotten better about it, but it’s still a struggle.

  5. Alex says:

    So true, and such a good lesson for us, reading about peacefull parenting.
    Thanks for this lesson, Rachel!

    You did the right thing for you and your kids, but also for us, telling us about how to be flexible.
    It reminds me of a late afternoon, when I thought I really needed to go to the coop to get some veggies and fruits (because that’s what a good mom does, right?!). And not aknowledging that my kids were just unable to go there at that moment…. until I wondered what the most important was: feeding my tired kids fresh fruits because we went to the coop, ignoring their need for quiet and home, or listening to their need…. for a moment I dove in the “I’m being bossed by my kids, I should be the one to decide when we go to the coop” kind of thought, but then caught myself in time. I just pulled out the car and went back home…. I guess we ate pasta or rice that evening, but I remember we had a mellow and casual time together!

    Thanks for the reminder (and sorry for the mistakes who come along my english writting!).

  6. Kim says:

    Been there the last few nights too. My little guy has been taking at least an extra hour at night to fall asleep, and like you I work once he goes to sleep. I have found myself in the same situation, the conversation in my head keeps telling me to breath, stay calm, be present. It is not easy, but I have been getting through it. I just keep hoping the next night will be better, fingers crossed.

    Thanks for the post, knowing it is happening somewhere else kinda makes me feel better 🙂

  7. Casey says:

    So, let go, let go
    Jump in
    Oh well, what you waiting for?
    It’s all right
    ‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
    So, let go, let go
    Just get in
    Oh, it’s so amazing here
    It’s all right
    ’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown

    It gains the more it gives
    And then it rises with the fall
    So hand me that remote
    Can’t you see that all that stuff’s a sideshow?
    Such boundless pleasure
    We’ve no time for later
    Now you can’t await
    your own arrival

  8. Susie says:

    I think you’re leading by example, Rachel. I’d consider this is peaceful parenting post! Hope you have a lovely weekend.

  9. Kelly says:

    Oh my goodness, I can really relate to this post! As a teacher I give so much advice and support, but it is much much harder with your own kids. And it’s those little choices we make every minute to connect and then connect again that really matter in life.

  10. nannergirl says:

    Thank you for this post Rachel. Bed time is something that we’re having issues with right now too and it is so hard to continue giving at that timeof day, when for me it’s been a long, full day and I am looking forward to even half an hour to be on my own. Thank you for the reminder to continue to parent with love, even at an hour (or two) past bedtime. Your children are very fortunate 🙂

  11. Karen says:

    I think this is a wonderful ‘real’ post for peaceful parenting! Sometimes it’s good to know the reality as well as the theory. I can find myself tense at my kids’ bedtime too, as I am already planning in my mind the work I need to do, the quiet I need to do it in, and the household job or sewing project that is waiting for me after work. I really need to be more present with my kids at bedtime, instead of rushing mentally into my space.

Leave a Reply