Teaching Opportunities

As a parent might, my fiancé subscribes to the age old adage “pick and choose your battles.” To my detriment, perhaps, it seems to me that every battle is the one I choose. And while I do love to have a good heated discussion about right and wrong, today it occurred to me why I am constantly on the battlefield with my kids.

When you pick a battle to fight, you are picking a teaching opportunity. (Un?)fortunately for my kids, I think that everything is a learning experience. And I want to teach them.

This morning I found my kids arguing over a book, at the top of their lungs. Normally that may not be worth a conversation, but the fact that the dogs hadn’t been outside for their second morning walk, which is the responsibility of the kids, made me feel as though a lesson in time management was necessary and perhaps I would sprinkle in a dash of “priorities” for good measure. It turns out, being trained in project management makes me qualified to talk about those two things pretty clearly. As it also turns out, it gave me a moment to think about priorities for myself.

img_9861Of course, my number one priority is my family. Sorry work– I love you– but no. And today at work, I realized that if you have expertise and opinions to share, you will almost certainly encourage a better outcome and product when you communicate openly and honestly. It’s true, adults of all ages, stages, and stations have trouble with communication, I see it daily. My hope is that as adults, as parents, as teachers, we can put our egos and anxieties aside and TEACH those around us.

So anyway, this morning after I asked my kids why they felt that arguing over a book took priority over a puppy potty break, and after some stomping, attitude, and a few hugs goodbye– I was greeted this afternoon by one child who told me how much she missed me today. And another who apologized for being “rude” this morning. I would call that a teaching opportunity success.

Perhaps as adults we can take a hint from kids. The things that seem like a disaster in the moment, aren’t. Mistakes can be corrected through attention, patience, and kindness, and the most successful folks in our midst all had great teachers. We are all good at something– start teaching others about it.

How It All Started, Really.

When you meet a guy who is tall, and hot, and educated, it is hard not to swoon. When he tells you that he has two children, there are a few reactions that race through your head whether you mean to, or not.

  1. Married?
  2. I should probably walk away now.
  3. I’m probably going to stay though…

Normally, I would have cut this conversation short. Something like serendipity kept me there. He wasn’t married. That was a good start. So fast forward through our love story, which I will share later, and I am the other mother to two amazing kids.

The first time I met these sweet monsters, we went for crepes.  We went to the park, also. Although our kids spend the majority of their time with us, they were with their biological mom for the weekend. Much to their dismay, and mine, I was then headed back to the airport, and to Baltimore.

That was the other part I forgot to mention–I was in a long distance relationship. He, in Houston, me in Baltimore. Have you ever tried co-parenting from halfway across the country? To two kids you barely know? I have!

The next time I would come to town, the kids would be staying with us. I would get an immediate dose of child-reality, and if I am being honest, I loved it. When we picked them up from school, the kids blew past their father and almost knocked me off of my stilettos with two of the best hugs I had had to date.

I have basically been in love ever since. Sweet, exhausted, grumpy, snuggle, stomping, laughing, door slamming, hugs and kissses, love.