Being a parent is a crazy undertaking. So many people decide to have kids, and we all jump right in with both feet not having much idea of what we’re doing.
It is the most important job in the world, but also the one that comes with the least amount of training.
As we move through it we learn, we realize that our kids go through various phases, and then move on to new ones. We find ourselves repeating the same things over and over, trying to instill important lessons, answering a million questions.
And sometimes we wonder if we’re doing it right. If the work we are putting in day after day is actually amounting to anything. Are our children turing into good human beings? Will they ever remember to chew with their mouth closed? Am I going to have to remind them to close the toilet forever?
Sometimes it seems like the movie groundhog’s day where we are just repeating over and over and not actually getting anywhere.
But I’m here to tell you that you are.
Because here is the thing about parenting. It is a whole lot like brushing your teeth. Now that might not seem like a normal comparison, you may think I’m a little bit crazy, but let me explain.
Consistency is key
If you only brush your teeth every once in awhile then you’d suffer the consequences right? How about if you stopped
You don’t see immediate results –
You don’t brush your teeth and think oh look, another day cavity free! You just brush them, they feel nice, your breath doesn’t stink, and you go on about your day. It is not an action that you do for any kind of instant gratification. You just do it because if you don’t the results are less than stellar. Once again, it’s the same with parenting. We teach our kids small lessons each day, we build a foundation of love and security, each day a small bit of maintenance that builds into a life of knowing they are loved and supported, and knowing the lessons that their parents taught them. It’s most definitely a marathon not a sprint.
It seems repetitive-
I don’t really know anyone who gets excited about brushing their teeth. It’s not like its an activity we look forward to. In fact there are some days where I’ve already gotten into bed at night and I realize I forgot, I lay there and debate if I really need to, and most times unless I’m crazy tired, I drag myself out of bed because I know that it is important. It’s a repetitive task, twice a day, brush brush brush, and spit, each and every day of your life. Often parenting feels the same way. We’re changing diapers over and over and over, we’re running our children to activities, cooking dinner each and every day, and while there is joy to be found in every day tasks they can be redundant and repetitive and often feel like they are not amounting to much at all. It can make you feel a little complacent, even frustrated at times when you feel like all that you do each day is just a repeat of the day before.
It is hugely important –
What if you stopped brushing your teeth? It wouldn’t take long for things to start to go badly (Here’s an interesting look at what would happen… it’s not a pretty picture!) The same goes with parenting. What would happen if you just quit? I don’t know about your house but mine, especially when my kids were young, would descend into chaos pretty quickly. This daily routine of brushing your teeth is so important to your overall health. And the way you show up each and every day in your children’s lives is even more important. You set the tone for their life, you show them what consistency looks like, what security means, what real love feels like, and that is not during big birthday parties or amazing Christmas mornings. It is through the small tasks that you perform each and every day. It
SO the next time you feel like you’ve said the same thing over and over a gazillion times in a day, the next time your 4 year old asks another question about dinosaurs, the next time you stress about what is for dinner tonight, or do yet another load of laundry, think about brushing your teeth. Understand the importance of everything that you do day in and day out and how these seemingly small things make a world of difference.
What you do each day matters, and even when it seems unimportant, routine or mundane, it is a small piece of