Her comments struck me. I was hit with an ah-hah and a rush of relief all at once. I am not alone.

A few moms gather chatting on the playground with our younger kiddos after the olders have been safely swept away into their classrooms. We join together not everyday, but many. There is a certain ritual about it. And honestly, it helps me breathe.

Not because we have such profound conversation while our children run and play. We slur our way through most of it while the coffee kicks in. I am settled in my soul simply because we are together. There is so much extraordinary in ordinary life, if only I see it and let it in.

Out of my mouth came one of the phrases I often find coming out of my mouth toward my children and I expressed the frustration of repeating myself to my friends. When will they learn?

The camaraderie was a warm blanket set on my shoulders as we all related together. And then one of my friends used the word “mantra”. Comfort gave way to peace.

It was as if Legos I had been trying to force together the wrong way had just been straightened out and the puzzle was solved. They clicked.

These things I repeat over and over to my children, they are not just for them. They are not things that can be mastered in one day, one week, one childhood, or even one lifetime. They are learnings of life. They are things that no one ever masters, not my children and not me, but we all simply continue to learn through the process of life.

They are things we need to hear over and over and over again because they are truths easily forgotten. Easily misunderstood. Easily cast aside.

They are in fact, mantras. Things that help us as we chant them over and over. And I realize in this moment that I need to hear these mantras just as much as my children do. Because I want them to become a part of me. But I am not the only exacerbated parent who tires of chanting from time to time.

Every family has different mantras. Some help us, some beat us down. Sometimes the difference between the two is all in the delivery or the interpretation. God, help my tone of voice breathe life into my family instead of shame.

Everyone has say over their own bodies.

We don’t get to make other people’s choices for them.

Listen to your body, it tells us some of the things we need.

Love is not earned.

It’s okay to think different things.

Our choices affect our future.

Outside energy is a good energy to have, it just belongs outside.

Everyone feels disappointed when we don’t get our way. But it’s also important to learn how to move on with life afterward.

Those are some of my favorite mantras from the Koo family, but I am curious…..what are yours?

6 thoughts on “mantras

  1. I LOVE your mantras…sometimes they become my own-like, “my emotions should not be your/their consequence.” I don’t know that the following is a mantra, but it is heard REPEATEDLY at the Koch house-Apple-Tree (meaning, our children are apples that don’t fall far from our own habits & behaviors as the tree they fell from…enjoy the quirks-they are part of who our spouse is, and we chose each other for life-ALL of ourselves-might as well love it!)

    • Rebecca Koo says:

      I love it!!! Thank you for sharing that with all of us! I forgot all about the emotions not being consequences….that may deserve a post all it’s own….thanks!!! 🙂

  2. Susan Tresner says:

    Oh, so love this, Becca! I felt such freedom when you pointed to the fact that we and they need to hear these mantras over and over on the journey…and that is ok! OK for me so must be OK for them! Many times what I am telling them (in particular MY middle schooler!), God turns around and says to me! This time of parenthood for me will probably be more transformational for me then them! Thanks again for your transparency and humor!!!!

  3. Susan Tresner says:

    Forgot to share a few mantras from the Tresner clan…
    Fair is not equal. Take care of each other – the world can be rough enough- we need to have each other’s back! It is ok to be YOU – because God made you special and He loves you very much! (adopted from Bob the Tomato!) And when they were little…books are for reading, not for eating…my chewers they were!

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