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Monday, 22 February 2016

A parenting challenge

As children grow into their own person, the role of a mother changes. I laugh at the thought that I used to worry about sleep patterns and late walking, which seem so easy compared to dealing with an individual who is no longer really just an extension of me.

I now hold very tightly to this idea from Joan Ryan, in the book The Water Giver (which I've not read, by the way. so can't elaborate on the book).

“Motherhood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It's about understanding that he is exactly the person he is supposed to be. And that, if you're lucky, he just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be.” 

The challenge for us as parents, is that we need to dump our ego, our preconceptions and a lot of our expectations, while still providing boundaries. We need to be prepared to bend to the new wind and do what is right for our child, so they become the best version of themselves,whether we are ready for it or not, and hopefully we become a better version of ourselves in the process.

We are not our child, and they are not us. Eventually, they will have different thoughts and ideas on how the world works, and we may not agree, nor understand. Ultimately, we have to remember they are our child and we love them. That has to be enough. In the same way we are not necessarily the person they want as a parent, but hopefully they love us, and we are enough for them.

Grace wrote about a Mummy Mantra that I think of often "I tried my best. It wasn't enough, but it could have been worse."

Have you changed your mindset as the kids grow to adults?

Linking with #WorthCasing for the final round, with one of my favourite posts of the year (Ironically I have no idea what prompted it, proving that 'it too shall pass')

15 comments:

  1. Yes! I have changed it so many times but that quote is perfect.

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  2. Absolutely !!! I wish I'd read this 24 years ago !!!

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  3. That quote is brilliant. I'm often fascinated by how my kids are an uneven blend of myself, my husband and their own unique selves. I've loved getting to know them. They've forced me to become a lot more patient than I used to be. #TeamIBOT

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  4. Yes indeed! I love that our children grow into themselves and sometimes end up teaching me a thing or two.

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  5. Love that quote. It's the whole boundaries thing that I'm finding now I have three teens is doing my head in right now.

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    1. I'm so pleased you've revisited this post. A rather timely message as my eldest finish year 12 and the outcome isn't exactly what I envisaged for her.

      Thinking about it the blog feels like a child of mine as well, so this could ring true for the blog as well, especially now I've decided to remove the Wednesday linkup. Hmmm something to think about.

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    2. I replied to you but my phone tacked it on the bottom...

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  6. I sure have!!! My mindset evolves daily due to the wisdoms learned from my offspring. I LOVE that quote up there. It's a keeper ...

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  7. My two are still very young, but I think this is something my parents could have done with reading. They have found it difficult over the years to accept that I do have my own thoughts and beliefs. I love them though - don't get me wrong :)

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  8. It's exciting isn't it? Even as it's scary.
    I would also add that our job is to find out who they are early and help them to be that person.

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  9. Don't you think parenting is like a wonderful, never ending learning curve? But I guess that's the beauty of parenthood; children teach their parents as much as parents teach their children, if not more!

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  10. Well my kids certainly aren't the kids I thought I'd have. Don't get me wrong, I love them dearly, but they are not a little version or my or hubby, they are themselves. This has taken me many years to work out! I love the quote too - it helps us remember that other parents feel our pain :-)

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  11. What a great post. Thank you for sharing these insights. I have been 'known' to get caught up in the thoughts about both my kids and grandkids...'who IS this person' and then promptly reminding myself that he or she is NOT me nor anyone else but him or herself. Good one for us all to remember and reflect on! Denyse

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  12. I've changed a lot of my ideals since becoming a parent. It's been especially hard because Dyllan is so much like me sometimes.

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  13. I've just finished Beautiful Failures so can talk at length on this topic - just know that the richest people I know (and I mean multi-multi millionaires) all didn't finish school at all! There is a way around everything!

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