Ever sat through a conversation, situation, or whathaveyou, and suddenly realize “I have a lot to learn”? That happened to me at work yesterday.
For over an hour, I sat in awe of a mother who despite her teenage daughter’s wildest efforts to alienate herself via screaming, swearing, and generally attempting to self-destruct while simultaneously blaming mom for making her do it, managed to remain calm, affectionate, and soothing toward her child the entire meeting. It was incredible.
Frankly, it made me feel like the parenting job I’ve got is a walk in the park. It also made me feel very bad for any time I’ve gotten frustrated with a kid I’ve worked with. Because honestly, this woman could teach seminars on how to maintain a generally loving disposition towards someone who is out of control.
I think I’m able to keep myself collected and calm much of the time I am parenting or working. But I don’t really know if I am that loving the whole time.
When the session was over, I pulled mom aside and told her that I thought she was doing an amazing job. She got teary-eyed and it was very difficult not to hug her, but I hope the sentiments were well received all the same. Sometimes it can be hard to know how often a parent is actually being told they’re doing a good job; and this woman is working really hard.
It’s crazy to me how being a part of someone’s life in that kind of way can really put the way I work or parent in perspective. I have nothing to complain about with my son or really any good excuse to lose my patience with him; and this woman is still lightyears ahead of me in the way she handles a really difficult emotional and possibly physical situation.
These kinds of things tend to happen when I begin to think I am figuring things out, finding my footing,or generally start thinking I might actually know what I am talking about. Then I realize that is not the case and I have to eat some humble-pie.