As of late, mine has been, "choose the path of least resistance".
I have two. The first is "You don't have to be the best, just good enough." I'm a perfectionist and that causes stress for me and the kids.
The other is the title of a book I saw long ago, "Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff." Sometimes it's so hard to keep things in perspective!
OP, my second motto often leads me to your motto!
I have a question I often ask myself: "Is this really worth it?" Sometimes the answer is yes. When it is, then I hold my ground. When the answer is no, I back down.
And I don't mean "is parenting really worth it?" (b/c the answer to that is yes!)
"This too shall pass" is probably what sums it up these days.
"Good enough" is another one.
My favorite is probably my sister's:
"Well, it's nothing that a couple years of therapy won't cure."
"They are people too."
I also tend to remind myself "Just because I'm the parent, it doesn't mean I'm right" when DD is arguing a point and I don't want to admit that she is make a rational and sensible argument.
If it looks like I'm trying to pick a fight... I'm not, I'm rarely that obvious.
I've got a couple, most of them given to me by others:
My dad, when my first was born: "I always found the intro to Dr. Spock very comforting: 'Trust yourself -- you know more than you think you do.'"
My dad, again when the first was a baby: "A little benign neglect never hurt anyone"
(Meaning: don't be too fast to jump in when they're playing, figuring things out, working things out. Let them learn to self-amuse, problem solve, etc. Still applies as they get older - don't insert yourself into their business all the time out of some kind of "but they NEEEEEEED me to do this." It never meant, in our parlance, to ignore them and leave them unsupported, but just to give them the time and space to be themselves and figure things out if they can).
A friend from grad school: "Tsk! No lying to children or animals!"
(The pets were good practice. You don't need to say "Cats don't like ice cream!" when you can say "Ice cream makes you projectile vomit, silly cat!"
Another friend: "Is this the hill I want to die on?"
(Variant of "pick your battles.")
savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).
The two that most readily come to mind are:
1. Choose your battles.
2. Set your expectations high, 'cause you're going to make compromises.
I once heard of a couple (perhaps a fictional one) who said "Never go to bed angry." I think that's a good one too. Always remember the love. ;)
Keep her alive until she is 18.
Not sure that is really a motto but it helps me to remember some days that my job is not to give dd everything in the universe, bake her cookies and be her most beloved buddy. My job is to give her shelter, food and teach her how to care for herself as best I can. And I'm doing that.
Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)
Nice I am going to borrow some of these! :-)
Great thread OP.
Mine is "Doesn't matter. When he is 21, he will be lying on a couch, saying he wants to kill his father and sleep with his mother."
Meaning, no matter how well I do, my DS/DD are going to think some of the things I did were wrong. And some of the things will be wrong, but it will have been good enough. So I might as well cut myself some slack. I'm very hard on myself I sometimes over analyze things, so sometimes it's good to step back and accept how things are and even laugh about it a bit.
This too shall pass is one I often find myself repeating! It gets me thru! Lots of these are great, and very helpful.
Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!
Narrowing it down to a motto, it would probably be something like "Enjoying the small things!"
That goes for life in general though.
One that I heard somewhere (?) is: "If your children can afford their own therapy when they grow up, you did a great job!"
Funny! But it really does help me to remember that everyone has their own distinct personality, with strengths and challenges. Thus, we two people in the exact same situation (i.e. home) will experience it completely differently. No matter how hard we try, perfection is not an attainable goal. What is most important for me is to let the small stuff go - keep the big stuff on the horizon: raising conscious, considerate, kind, open-minded, open-hearted individuals who value life and learning and the journey. :)
Love begins at home.
I have a little sign with that quote. I hung it between the kitchen and family room and see it many, many times each day. It reminds me of the importance and power of thinking, speaking, and acting with love.
I have a few variants of the mottos above. Most frequently used "they grow up so fast, enjoy every moment" and "try seeing it from his point of view". I also concur that my pets were great in training me to be patient and to not sweat the small stuff.
Progress, not perfection.
Good enough is good enough.
Am I taking myself too seriously?
How can I connect?
She (or he) is crying, hug her (or him).
Breathe. Do I really need to be angry about this?
They're only little for such a short time.
There will be a time when I will miss this.
I will try my best but there are so many things that interact to affect how my children grow up, there are other influences.
Hopefully they'll just need less therapy than I did.
About 2 weeks before my dad passed away, he was in the hospital and I visited with the baby. The baby was getting fussy and I was getting stressed and my dad looked at me and said, "relax, they're only small for a little while, try to enjoy it".
And of course, "be gumby". It's something we used to say when I was in the military, and it describes both the military and parenting very well.