Growing Into a Super Hero

Welcome to the March 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Everyday Superheroes

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about the remarkable people and characteristics that have touched their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


What does it mean to have courage?

Do you have to be a super-hero to have it?

Who do you picture in your mind when you think about courage?


According to Wikipedia, Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.


To me, courage is doing the right thing, even when it is hard to do.  Being courageous is showing up, despite your discomfort and doubt, because you said you would. 


A courageous person is someone who is willing to move forward, to take the steps needed to be their best version of themselves. 


A courageous person understands that sharing their not best moments is gift for others who may be struggling.


I am a parent and a parent educator.  It is my great privilege to know and work with parents who are showing up to be better.  To me, this is the first step of finding our courage.  Recognizing that there is more to learn, more to grow.


It is an act of courage to show up in a roomful of people and say, “I don’t know what to do, I want to be better.”  And it is an honor to hold space for parents as they puzzle through their experiences and open their minds to new perspectives on behavior…


Parenting is a wild ride.  It is full of challenges and emotions that we never in a million years saw coming.  And just when we think we have it all figured out, our child moves into a new developmental stage and it’s back to square one.


What continues to blow my mind is how being a parent forces me to look inward, to take accountability of my actions, to dig in to the dark places that I would rather ignore.  I am amazed at the depth of learning and self growth that occurs simply trying to show up better for my kids.


For example, I have been known to be a control freak.  This is something that I didn’t realize until I became a mom.  Well, really not until I became a mom of two and my oldest found her own opinions on things.


Couple the control freak tendencies with a bit of a know-it-all and…  yikes!  Yes, lovely combo.  What happens when I become overwhelmed with emotion while challenged by my kid’s behavior?  I give commands, sometimes while yelling.  Or I don’t say anything and just freeze them out, rigid with anger or irritation.  Either way, the same ugly vibe is being created due to my behavior.


Its gross, and not something I am proud of.


However, what I have learned, is that these moments, these why the hell did I have children moments, offer me an amazing opportunity to build my courage muscles.  They offer me the chance to grow into a better, more connected and centered human being – and model what that looks like for my kids.


Brene Brown, in her book Daring Greatly, says, “Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do that what we know about parenting.”


It takes courage to choose our path.  It takes courage to embrace the idea that we design our lives.  It takes courage to recognize that being a better person is a daily practice.


But first, we must come to accept that our path is ours to live, ours to create.  When we begin the work of building a life of love, compassion, patience and self growth so many unrealized possibilities open up for us.  Instead of spinning our stories of blame and resignation for the way things are, we can start to take actions that moves us in the direction we want to go.


This is courageous!  Getting rid of the stories that are keeping us stuck is courageous, it is new and different territory.  When we take resignation and resentment for the way things are, out of our body, it leaves a space to be filled.


This is where the possibilities live!!!!


For me, when I began to own my behavior, recognizing that it wasn’t my kids “making me so mad,” I moved towards courage.  Because when I let go of blaming them for how I was feeling, the only other place to look was inside.  And anyone who is a parent knows how hard it is to accept that the problem may not lie with our children, but instead within ourselves.  Being able to say, “I’m sorry for the way I’ve treated you and am going to handle things differently next time” is courageous.


And that’s it!  When we let go of trying to control our children and start the work of digging deep and controlling ourselves and our actions, our courage shows up.


So good news, you don’t need a cape and a bunch of huge muscles shoved into a tight fitting suit to be courageous!  All you need is to look inside, to dig deep and own your behavior, and take new actions when you don’t like the way things are.


Be courageous!


You can do it!


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon March 11 with all the carnival links.)

  • I Am A Super Hero — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she learned the hard way exactly what it means to be a real super hero and not a burned out shell of a human simply pretending to be one.
  • Quiet Heroics — Heroism doesn't have to be big and bold. Read how Jorje of Momma Jorje is a quiet hero…and how you probably are, too.
  • Not a Bang, but a Whisper {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs at A New Day talks about the different types of "superheroes," ones that come in with a bang and ones that come in with a whisper.
  • Silent courage of motherhood in rural Cambodia — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings marvels at how rural Khmer women defy the odds in childbirth.
  • Super PappyMother Goutte's little boy met a superhero in checked slippers and Volkswagen Polo, his grand dad: Super Pappy!
  • An Open Letter to Batman — Kati at The Best Things challenges Batman to hold up his end of the deal, in the name of social justice, civic duty, and a little boy named Babe-O!
  • My Village — Kellie at Our Mindful Life reflects on the people who helped her to become her best self.
  • 5 Lessons My Kids Taught Me — Children are amazing teachers, when we only stop to listen. They remind us to choose happiness, to delight in the small things, to let go and forgive. There is so much we can learn from our children. Justine at The Lone Home Ranger shares a few of the lessons she's learned.
  • Could you use some superpowers? — Tat at Mum in search shares a fun activity to help you connect with your own superpowers.
  • Like Fire Engines — Tam at tinsenpup tells the story of the day she saw a surprising superhero lurking in the guise of her not entirely mild-mannered four-year-old daughter.
  • Everyday Superheroes — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her list of Walker Warburg Syndrome Superheroes that have touched her life forever.
  • My Superhero of the Week: Nancy GallagherTribal Mama muses about the transcendent things her superhero mom has done.
  • My choice in natural birth does not make me a super hero — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, discusses her thoughts on her experience with the perception of natural birth and putting those mamas on a different level. Does giving birth naturally give cause for an extra pat on the back? No! All mamas, no matter how they birth, are superheroes.
  • Someone's Hero — Sometimes being a parent means pretending to be a grown-up, but it always means you are someone's hero. Read Mandy's lament at Living Peacefully with Children.
  • Growing into a Super Hero — Casey at Joyful Courage shares how owning our behavior and choosing to be a better parent, a better person, is an act of courage.
  • A Math Superhero — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling writes that her 7-year-old daughter's superhero is an MIT-trained mathematician.
  • It Starts With Truffula Trees And Tulips — Luschka of Diary of a First Child takes a hard look at the realities of her relationship with her mother, and through this post goes on a journey of discovery that ends in a surprise realisation for her.
  • We Don't Need an Excuse — Maria Kang (aka "Hot Mom") asks women #WhatsYourExcuse for not being in shape? Dionna at Code Name: Mama asks Hot Mom what her excuse is for not devoting her life to charity work, or fostering dozens of stray dogs each year, or advocating for the needs of others. Better yet, Code Name: Mama says, how about we realize that every woman has her own priorities. Focus on your own, and stop judging others for theirs.
  • It's not heroic when you're living it — Lauren at Hobo Mama knows from the inside that homeschooling does not take a hero, and that much of what we choose as parents is simply what works best for us.
  • Superheroes, princesses and preschoolers — Garry at Postilius discusses why his preschool-age son is not ready for comic book superheroes.
  • The Loving Parents of Children with Special Needs – Everyday Superheroes — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares posts with resources for parents of children with special needs along with posts to help others know how to support parents of children with special needs.
  • Everyday Empathy — Mommy Giraffe of Little Green Giraffe shares why her secret superpower is everyday empathy.
  • The Simplicity of Being a Superhero — Ana at Panda & Ananaso explains what superheroes mean to her wise three-year-old.
  • My Father, The Hero — Fathers are pretty amazing; find out why Christine at The Erudite Mom thinks hers is the bees knees.