Pony Horses and Other Ideas About Parenting

Parenting is a lifetime commitment and can sometimes be overwhelming. Under times of stress, it’s important to make sure you are taking care of yourself. As parents, we often neglect ourselves and place the needs of our children as the supreme priority. That’s not a horrible thing, but it’s got to be done in balance with taking care of ourselves. A story to illustrate this: A woman whose husband recently died, was walking home from the corner store and saw a young homeless man who was obviously hungry. “Follow me home and come around to the side door. I’m about to make a sandwich and I’ll make one for you too,” she told him. For the first time in a while, she enjoyed doing something, and told the man that if he came around the next day, she would make him another sandwich. The next day, the man came and brought some friends who were also hungry, and the lady made sandwiches for them also. Pretty soon, she had a reputation as “The Sandwich Lady” and continued to hand out sandwiches each day….One evening, she noticed that she was hungry and went to her cupboard to get some food, but realized she was out of food and had nothing to eat for herself. She soon passed away from starvation – and there were no sandwiches for those she had been feeding. Now of course, this is a fictional story to make a point about the importance of self-care. If you don’t take care of yourself, eventually you will be unable to take care of your children.

I want to give you an image that will hopefully help all parents to remember what their children need most – a calm and stable parent.  I have a child whom I love dearly. What does she need from me the most ? Support for her hard work at school? Keep her busy with great extracurricular activities? Ensure she gets good nutrition and time to rest? All good ideas, but not the most important in my opinion. Instead, she needs a calm mama! So here’s the image for today: Have you ever noticed when watching The Kentucky Derby, that when they bring the race horses out from their paddocks and walk them to the starting gate, there is often a companion horse walking alongside? That’s a pony horse – I like to call it a “calm horse,” because that’s their job – to keep that wild race horse calm long enough to get them into the gate and ready to start their race. That’s what will help our children survive and thrive. So let’s all do our best to remain calm for our children. What about those of you who are having difficulty remaining calm? Check out our post on managing your emotions.

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