Trust The Process And Yourself

by Mary Ann on July 1, 2010

Kimberly Robinson

On occasion I receive an article from a friend or client that truly moves my heart. That happened today and I want to share some of it with you.

I have said many times in my blogs that for children the process is what counts not the product. I absolutely believe that to be true and today, in this beautiful article on motherhood by Kimberli Pelo Robison, that was again confirmed for me.

Marie and Dan

“I wondered how many times I would need to be told that the little things I am doing are the most important things before I really believed it…Do we really need reminding that mothering is so vital… I think we do. Somehow with the fast-paced, instant gratification mode of our lives we too often forget that the slow, steady work of mothering is the greatest work we could do.  Perhaps it is the extraordinary ordinariness of the work that leads us to believe that anyone could do it as well…

“It’s no wonder we struggle to find significance in these tasks when we have learned so perfectly that what has value and is rewarded is what gets done and a mother’s work is never done.  You see receiving rewards for work is how the world is run.  At school it is the finished work that gets the praise, the star, the ‘A.’ No one pats you on the back for the process; it is the product that gets the smiley face…Jobs for hire have the same kind of system.  You don’t get stars and grades, but if nothing else you get a paycheck.  You can hold in your hand the product of your work.  Your work is worth something. For twenty-seven years I lived this system of working, producing and receiving rewards.  Then I became a mother.

“It was hard for me to give up producing and receiving tangible rewards, for works in progress and rewards of the heart.  Motherhood is full of rewards; they are simply not the kind I was accustomed to.

“There are still times I panic and feel certain that I need to be producing something, having something to show for my work.  I start


setting goals and rampaging through the lives of my family trying to accomplish things.  My children, my constant barometers, quickly show me that they will have none of it and call me back to enjoying the process with them.

“It is loving the process of life that takes some relearning.  Children instinctively understand that process is more important than product.  The stacking of blocks is more important than the tower.  The smooshing and squooshing of finger paint on paper is more important than the painting.  The singing is more important than the song.

“Still, I struggle with this concept all the time.  I wish I knew that I was doing exactly the right things for my children.  Yet, that is not the nature of the job.  It is a work of patience and faith not only with our children, but with ourselves as well.”

I wish every mother and father would take that to heart, patience with the process. One of the things that gets parents off tack the fastest is when they don’t see results right away. If your child isn’t reading by eight you have failed somehow. After all the child down the street is a wonderful reader and is only six.

If you set up your Spark Station and a structured time for your family to work and learn together and only three days out of five go well you are failures.

If your child spends three hours making a fabulous clay model of a family camping trip, well there is just something wrong with that. They should be learning, doing something of value so that they can get a really good job.

Isn’t that is what is really always in the back of our minds; they need to be able to get a really good job. We want them to be grade A material because then we know we are good parents. We want them to read by a certain age because then we can stop worrying about how they stack up to the other kids in the neighborhood.

Wouldn’t it be so much better if we could just trust the process, trust our children, trust our family, and trust ourselves?

On page five of Leadership Education: The Phases we read this – “…children learn developmentally, moving through stages according to a unique individual time table…Also, each child approaches the same developmental task differently…”

“…many parents struggle with a lack of confidence, wondering if they can actually do it.”

So here is the conundrum we all face. Learning is an individual and unique process, shepherded by parents who lack confidence,

Ashley having “fun”

living in a world that must see a result NOW to give a reward. That is certainly a recipe for trouble.

But it doesn’t have to be. We need to find the way to believe in our children, that they can and will learn; that they were created to learn and grow. We need to trust ourselves that we can lead and inspire our children little by little over time and that they will become wonderful people. We need to walk away from the idea that every thing we or our children do has to have a perfect outcome to have been of value. The process is where we do our learning.

Ruth Hailstone, as quoted on page sixty one of Leadership Education: The Phases said, “Maybe one day in ten is perfect!” And from Oliver DeMille, “If you expect every day to fit a mold, you will be disappointed and frustrated. If you expect the process to work, you will be richly rewarded.”

Every day we do many tasks that bring no immediate reward. We love, we care, we counsel, we teach, we wipe noses, feed bellies, dress, hug, work and play with our children. We hope that in the end it will make a difference, that what we are doing will matter. I believe it will and as Kimberli said, “I, a mother in a

remote corner of this world, do a work of true significance.  I nurse a baby, play in the sun with my children, read them stories, hold them, hug them, sing lullabies, teach and train them.

“Like the work of nature, my work may also seem insignificant.  However, I am not working to produce something for today.  My work is to build something that will last beyond time.  I touch the soul of a child and that will make all the difference in the world.”

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