~”I have accepted that I cannot be everything to my children.”
After 18 years of Motherhood (and counting), I have learned so much about my personal strengths and limitations and based on that awareness, I have grown tremendously. Being a parent has been my biggest teacher. I have learned so much about life, love and relationships. Sending my eldest son off to college last year was a huge accomplishment as a mom. Although, parenting does not end when a child physically leaves home, I felt that, overall, I had done a great job in preparing him to leave home and head off to college.
Overall, I feel very proud of the work, love and attention that I have put into raising my children. Being a mom has taught me so much about a lot of things. Here are the most important lessons that I have gained from my motherhood journey:
- Loving my children was my first experience of unconditional love. It is true that a mother of multiple children can feel the same fullness of love for all of her children. Although my children don’t always think this is the case, I love each one of them with every fiber of my being. So much so, that I aspire to give them the best.
- I have learned to be more patient. Now this is an ongoing process and I am still working on this. I am by no means the epitome of patience, but over the years, I have gotten better. For me, that means success.
- I have accepted that I cannot be everything to my children. There was a time when I thought that I had to be the person that took care of their every want and need. Now I know that I can ask for others to assist me with their care, growth and development.
- I am not a perfect parent. The older my children have gotten, the easier it is for me to have some honest conversations about life. The conversations that impact me the most are the ones in which I admit that I may not have gotten it right in the past. My older boys spent their early years being raised by a mom that was still unsure about a lot of things about herself and her life. Hence, my parenting style was much different. I was a lot different. I was harder on them about things that are not a big deal for me today. Yet, when I tell them the honest truth about my life and how it relates to them, the more I provide a glimpse into myself as one that wants the most for them but may not always have all the answers or know what to do, the more understanding they are. Bottom line – I am not perfect.
- I have learned to let a lot of shit go. A few years ago, while working on some personal development, I decided to rent a video created by a psychologist on the topic of parenting. One piece of advice that has stayed with me is to choose the battles we fight with our children for the sake of maintaining a positive relationship with them. So, what he meant was that instead of fussing about a messy room, focus on the things that really matter like sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. I must say that I was torn a bit while listening to this advice as I think it is important that the kids room be reasonably clean. But I did get his point. My kiddos may disagree with this sentiment, but I am not as hard on them about things like cleaning their room or eating healthy. I allow them some freedoms so that we can focus on strengthening our bond. It is more important for me to have a relationship in which my children can come to me and talk to me about anything. Constant bickering and fussing about irrelevant things can weaken those bonds and push our children away. I definitely do not want that.
What is the difference between a bad parent, a good parent and a great parent? A bad parent is simply a parent who knows what their child needs and chooses not to give it to them. A good parent, is one who gives their child the best of everything they have. But a great parent, is one that not only gives 100% of their best self, but seeks to develop what they don’t, or connects their child to the sources they need so that they get what’s missing. Great parents seek to send their children out into the world completely whole…missing nothing!
So, on this Mothers’ Day, I am happy to say that I would consider myself a great parent. My cousin Niki and I have had countless conversations about the topic of what it means to be a good parent vs a great parent. And based on the above quote, I would have to agree with the fact that I am indeed a great parent. Yay for me and my babies!
Enjoy your day and all the best on your motherhood journey!