Thanks to my daughter I gave up control
By M.C. (U.S.A.)
It was bedtime, and we were going through the whole bedtime routine. My 6 year old daughter was waiting patiently for me, sitting in her bed, and I was in the bathroom trying to pull myself together. I was feeling completely burnt out, stressed out about countless things, and I had managed to keep a happy setting during the afternoon for my daughter, though what I really felt like doing was crying myself to sleep.
I washed my face with cold water, put on some calming serum, took a deep breath, and headed to my bedtime performance. We read Goodnight Moon, and then we talked about the things we are grateful for, and then it was time for bedtime hugs and kisses. As my daughter held me tight, she whispered in my ear, “mommy, you are doing things the best you can.”
I froze, held on to that hug even tighter, and tears started rolling down my face. My beautiful 6 year old daughter is so intuitive, always seemingly knowing the right thing to say. We hugged for a bit longer that night, and then I tucked her in and went to bed.
As I got ready for bed, showered, and did a meditation, I realized that my daughter said to me what I say to her many times. And when I say this to her, it is because I truly believe that we are all doing things the best we know how to at any given moment, with the resources we have and our current capabilities. So why did it feel so foreign to me to hear her say this to me?
I understood at that moment that I was not believing that this statement was true for me, as incomprehensible as it might seem. I was being very hard on myself, giving myself impossible expectations to meet, and putting a lot of responsibility on my shoulders related to the wellbeing of others, trying to control everything. I pulled out my journal at that moment and wrote out what my daughter said and how it applied to everything that was worrying me at this moment.
As I wrote I felt how I was relaxing, and a lot of tears were flowing. I felt relief and lightness. And I decided that I would keep this reminder top of mind from now on. I also realized that these challenging moments that I was experiencing had brought about this opportunity to connect with my daughter in a beautiful way, as well as this important reminder to be more understanding and empathetic of myself. I felt very grateful.