I think it can be easy to fall into a rut where the only thing you can see in your children are their flaws, all the things that you wish were different about them. All the things you think they need to work on, to improve, to change. Behaviors and habits you wish they didn't have. Attitudes. Selfishness. Messiness. Areas where they need to grow or mature. At the end of the day, you only remember the bickering, the tugging back and forth of toys. The tense, angry voices. The moments that made you cringe and question how they could be acting or doing or saying these things.
I'll be honest and admit to feeling this way sometimes. And when I get hung up on the negative, I find myself questioning how I'm doing things, how I'm relating to them or the example I'm setting for them, if these are the behaviors and attitudes they are expressing.
But lately I've really been changing my perspective. I'm taking better note of the good things in my children, the things that make me proud, that make my heart and my head swoon.
It's like the practice of gratitude. When you become aware of the things you are grateful for in your life, you are suddenly struck by how blessed you are, how full and rich your life has become. And what you lack pales in comparison.
I find when I pay careful attention and let these proud moments really make an impression upon me, and settle into my memory, my whole attitude and perspective towards my children changes. When I remember that really, most of the time she is helpful and patient, it changes how I handle her impatient, stubborn moments. When I remember her unsolicited moments of affection, it changes how her moment of anger effects my heart. When I see how gently she talks to her little sister, it changes how I feel when a toy is carelessly grabbed from someone's hands.