Kindness Challenge: Finale Challenge Reflection

For the past 7 weeks I have been part of the kindness challenge. This challenge was an eye opener for me. It made me explore the ways that I give myself kindness throughout my days along with observing the kindness that is going on around me. I have realized that I definitely need to try and be more kind to myself. Especially being a mom and with all the mom shaming that is out there on social media. We have to remember that everyone we see on social media are showing just the highlights of their lives and that not everything is perfect all the time. And as we go about our days we have to allow ourselves to make mistakes and allow for the messiness of life all while being kind to ourselves. This is how we learn and grow. I have also realized that I need to be more kind when parenting my son. Along with being aware that he is watching everything I am doing.

I have also learned that if you really look for the simple things and the kindness of others that it is out there every day. Always being focused on grand gestures of kindness is not always a good thing. A lot of times it is the simple things that can brighten someones day and make things just a little bit better for them. I continue to try and do little things when I am out and about for people. Sometimes it is a simple as smiling and asking how someones day is going. I am hoping that Ray will see this and learn by example. He is such a little helper already and I am trying to allow him more chances to help me out at home so that when he is not with me he will continue to want to help others that are in need. Sometimes this is tough because with a toddler they tend to make simple tasks take a lot longer but if we allow them to do the little things at home it will just become second nature as they get older.

This past week I have also really seen the kindness in people after my parents experience  a life changing flood. (See my post on keeping hope after a flood here). So many people have come together to help them out whether it be helping them empty buildings out, finding room to store the cars, or just simply bring them food to eat throughout the day. People have donated their time to help as much as they can and those that were too far away called to just let them know that they were thinking about them. My dad was even getting calls from friends and car guys that he has not really talked to in years. Just the way our community has come together to help anyone that was negatively affected by this flood is amazing to see. I even took the opportunity to have Ray help by giving some of his toys to a little boy that lost all of his when their entire house got flooded. I love seeing the way people tend to come together during difficult times to help one another and spread kindness in the hopes that things will get better.

This was such a good challenge and was perfect in keeping you mindful of how you were personally acting toward others every day. Hopefully we will all be able to continue to spread kindness to others each day!

Lake with fog and Instagram effect

Kindness Challenge: Grateful for Kindness Reflection

As I began this week I felt like I was already very aware of the simple ways that people were kind. I thought that most people in general were somewhat kind. But as I really went about my days throughout this week I began to notice more and more. Especially when I would be out and about with my son.

One thing that I found interesting was that I noticed that more men were kind to me that I had originally thought. I never realized how many times when I would be carrying my son into someplace where a man would hold the door open for me or let me go in first. One that really stuck out was when I was at the library we were half way to the door on the side walk and a guy that was walking past the door inside stopped to hold the door open for me. All of this really made me realize that there are still some really good men out there and that as a women I was somewhat disappointed about the way we tend to look out more for ourselves. Especially as mothers. It is almost like there is an unspoken thing that since I had to struggle when I was a mom that you should have to as well.

Realizing this I have become more aware of trying to help out other women and I am grateful to the ones that try to help me out or show me some kindness throughout my days. I have been trying to make a point to really show gratitude to someone that does help me as well in front of my son. I make sure I tell them thank you and give them a big smile. I am teaching him to say thank you as well. I want him to appreciate the help that we do get so that he will want to help others when he is a little bit older.

I know that I do struggle with making sure that I am showing gratitude toward receiving kindness. I appreciate it so much especially when little man is having a rough day and I am trying to get some errands done. Just having someone try to talk with him and smile at him to help keep him distracted is an amazing thing. A lot of times when people know that they are helping even in a small way it just makes everything better all around and can keep a good day from going bad.

Overall, as long as we are able to spread kindness throughout our days and be grateful for the kindness that we receive our days will be much brighter. And we always have to remember that little eyes are always watching how we respond to others and how we treat others (especially when moms interact with each other). Even if you do not have kids of your own, when you are out in public there are usually children around that everyone’s behavior and kindness is what is helping to shape this next generation.

I for one am trying to do my best to remember this and to live my life in kindness and awareness of others.

Kindness is not an act. It is a lifestyle. ~Anthony Douglas