Pete Gilbert">

Parenting Zen is Only a Door Slam Away

Usually when I write about a particular topic people respond by saying they go through a similar situation too. I hope that’s the case with this topic, but I think I might be alone on this one.

First, let me set up the scene. I have a 4 door SUV. I open up the back doors, buckle up my kids in their car seats, shut the back doors, then open the front door and get in myself. Can you picture it? Good.

One thing I’ve really come to enjoy is the time between when I shut the back doors and when I open my front door. It’s usually only a second or two, but it sure is nice. It’s completely peaceful. A zen type of moment. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but it’s pretty awesome.

The times I enjoy it the most are the times when my kids are at their worst. Maybe they are complaining that it’s too hot or too cold, or their car seat strap hurts or it’s too loose or too tight or that their sister is touching them, or someone hit someone else. If they aren’t complaining then they’re demanding stuff, like food, books, iPods, toys and more food. No matter what it is, I really enjoy the moment when I get to shut the door on the whole conversation.

My frustration level can usually be gauged by how hard I slam the door shut too.

It might not be in a parenting textbook anywhere (who would actually read one of those anyway), but that brief period of time I get every time I buckle up my kids and close the door on their sweet little faces is a nice solitary moment of parenting relaxation and bliss.

And if I’ve learned anything about parenting it’s if you get a moment to yourself, you take it.

-Pete

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