May 24, 2016

How Grace Gives Way to Kindness: Parenthood & Kindness Series with Carrie of Tightwad Teacher

Carrie’s take on parenthood and kindness gave me plenty to consider. True to her role as a teacher, her words taught me that kindness goes beyond just the simple act of being NICE to someone. It takes grace and support from others too. Thank you, Carrie for such a poignant reminder!

Tells us the kindest thing you’ve ever experienced as a parent?
For me personally, when daughter #1 was born we had so many people bring us dinner so that we didn’t have to worry about fixing something. We always wanted them to stay and eat with us, but some would just drop off the food because they didn’t want to bother us or make us feel like we had to entertain them when we were so sleep deprived. We had people texting us all the time wanting to bring us food so we could rest and be with our daughter. The support was amazing and most of them were parents as well so they understood exactly how we were feeling! Whenever we have friends who have babies, we try to do the same and take them a meal at least once
Who/what inspires you to be kind? Explain why they/it inspires you to do so
My children inspire me to be kind. Kids hear what we say, but they may not always listen. They do, however, pick up on our actions and how we behave more than you think. The saying “Actions speak louder than words” applies here. I cannot expect my children to be kind if I do not demonstrate kindness. We as parents must model and be GOOD examples for our kids.

It’s important to be kind to others, but it’s just as important to be kind to yourself. What do you do (or plan on doing) to be kind to yourself (either as a mother, as a professional, or as a woman)?
With a 3 year old and a 1 year old, it is hard for me to take time for myself. I do think that my world revolves around my kids and sometimes that can be a bad thing. If I am worn out and run down, I tend to be less patient with my children, which is my fault. I try to do too much! Aren’t most of us moms multi-taskers by nature? We think our plate is bigger than it actually is! Sometimes I try and give myself some grace. If I handle a situation badly then I forgive myself and make sure that next time I handle it differently. Moms do need time to themselves every so often because we can’t take care of everyone else if we don’t take care of ourselves!

It’s often said that kindness is easier said than done. As a parent, what valuable advice can you give for showing kindness to others (especially to those who may not seem like they want or deserve it)?
I love the saying “Kill them with kindness”. Just because someone else is rude doesn’t mean you have to be. Someone else’s actions do not control your reactions, but sometimes we react without thinking. Sometimes moments can get a little heated and intense, but taking a breath and an extra second to say a quick prayer before reacting can make all the difference in the world! Give people grace because you may not know what they are going through at that particular moment. It is true that people may forget what you say, but they never really forget how you make them feel

As a parent, what does kindness mean to you?
Kindness to me as a parent means treating someone how you want to be treated. Too many times we are worried about other moms judging us for our parenting decisions. A snap judgement can be made in a restaurant or a store based on what someone sees. I hear so many horror stories about people correcting other moms if they do not agree with how they are handling a certain situation and they don’t even know them. We as moms have a hard enough time as it is trying to figure this whole parenting thing out. It doesn’t come with a manual! Instead of judging, say a quick prayer for that mom, offer help, or just give her a look that says you completely understand what she is going through! No one wants to be judged based on one moment in time, so don’t do that to someone else.

What lesson do you want your kids to learn about kindness?
Everyone deserves kindness. You should be kind to everyone. Everyone has his or her own story or battle that we know nothing about. Sometimes people are unkind for reasons that are unknown and have nothing to do with you and your kindness towards them could change their day or their life. You never know where you are planting seeds and how you are affecting someone else! As I said earlier, people may forget what you say, but they never really forget how you make them feel! I want my daughters to change the world and make it a better place!.

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