For almost 13 years I’ve had the privilege of being a parent. But I must admit that though it’s the biggest blessing I’ve ever had in life, it is probably the most challenging role I’ve ever played……….MOM. Every success of your child is a success that you truly bask in and every failure is one that you take on to yourself as if it is your own. I can’t count the times I’ve cried when my child hits a milestone because it touches me so much to watch him growing, learning and becoming everything I know that he will be. But I have cried equally as much when I’ve had struggles with him because I’ve owned the disappointment of those things. I see a lot of parents doing it and I give them so many words of wisdom as I understand their feelings but the truth is, as a parent, your hopes and dreams rest in the development and progress of your children. It’s hard not to allow the things that go wrong in parenting to make you feel like a failure.
I always say that children are already who they will be upon their arrival but it’s our job to help them find the path of least resistance to their self-discovery. My son has always had a strong personality. As much as I want to fuss at him and pop him in his forehead for it, I know my real role is to help him hone it, help him learn how to take ownership of it and help him control it. We’ve had so many ups and downs in school because of it and one thing is for sure, I’ve had many days where I couldn’t figure out what to do to help him get through it. I read books and met with teachers and tried every method possible to help him figure out other ways to deal with the things that were going on inside of him (in addition to the ever changing hormones). With every call from a teacher or fight with a peer, I felt more and more defeated. Almost as if I wasn’t parenting in a way that was allowing him to be a success. As our journey continues, I’m truly learning that this is a HUGE myth! Through trial and error I begin to slowly see just how much of an impact what I've poured into has truly meant to him.
Dealing with the hiccups of my own growing teen and seeing some of the struggles that family and friends are facing with their children, I just wanted to provide them some encouragement. Day in and day out we get up, we go to work, we come home, we take care of our homes, our families, and then we try to squeeze some time in for ourselves. There are many hats that we wear whether we are single parenting or parenting with a spouse in the home. It’s a huge task to do all we do but we do the best we can with what we have and seeing as to how none of us were sent home with a parenting manual, we are all on a wing and a prayer! The truth is, we may not always do what we should and sometimes it’s not to the best of our ability, but the commitment, love and dedication we have to our children is all that we can give them. No matter how far that takes them or how receptive they are to it, that’s as good as it gets!
Something we can all do as a parent raising these ever changing children is to take the time to get to know them. We always think that because we are adults that we know everything ourselves but we live in a different time now. Our children are exposed to so much more than what we were and they are stimulated by so many things that often come to them when they are outside of our homes. We are competing with a world full of other parents who are either getting it right the best way they can or not concerned at all. We have a lot of things to contend with so we have to know how our message and the message of the world really penetrate our children. I’m a firm believer that it will help us figure out ways to get through to our little loves when they are showing us they prefer to take the hard road.
Kids are going to be who they are so the most important thing we can do for them is just give them whatever knowledge we have. What I’m learning is that they know waaaaay more than what we know so most times they don’t appear to be listening to what we have to say………..but say it anyway. They won’t always dream of a world where we don’t exist and they can do whatever they want without oversight. That’s when they will remember the words we forced on them and all the rules we imposed on them. At some point they will think of what was said and be grateful that it was said because they will need it at some point in their lives.
There are no perfect parents so please get over it if that’s what you think. I know it’s hard not to feel bad when they act out while they are growing or even if they become adults and not meet the expectations that we set for them. But regardless to what we expect, always remember that what they expect of themselves is what will ultimately be their driving force. It is never a reflection on the parents who have invested in them. There are two family house holds that can raise five children and only two become productive members of society. There can be a single parent household where all the children soar beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. There is no real way to tell how your children will turn out. No matter how they turn out though, the best you can do is love them, pray for them, support them and give them the guidance you know they need.
I charge you all to stay the course, keep fighting, keep talking, keep loving, keep correcting, keep doing what you are doing. Don’t give up. A light does exist at the end of the tunnel!
Until Next Time Lovies!