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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?

2020 update: Ironically I have no idea what prompted this post, proving that 'it too shall pass'


loopyloulaura



27 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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  14. Having kids is sooooo much harder than I ever imagined! I think is is important for the kids to see their parents as human and apologise for our mistakes. Value your children and celebrate their individuality. Thanks fotr linking up with #stayclassymama

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  15. Oh yes, as I have had my children and learned how to parent them, I have realised my perspectives on what I want for them and for them to be has changed a lot. This is a very thought provoking post... #stayclassymama (sorry it's late, mad mad two weeks!)

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  16. I love your little 2020 update at the bottom of your post! I have ones like this too - in that I have now idea why I wrote it at the time. I do love your post though and it's so true that we always have to remember that our little people are unique individuals with their own ideas and thoughts. Thank you for joining us for the #DreamTeamLinky

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  17. Parenting is so tricky! Sibling rivalry has reared its ugly head things week and I am struggling to make sure I have enough time to show all 3 that I love them for who they are and don't compare. Thanks for linking up with #dreamteamlinky

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  18. I am navigating my 9 year old at the moment through the process where he begins to crave more independence. Its tricky... #DreamTeamLinky

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  19. I think the questions become harder (I had to attempt a definition of cancel culture yesterday), and although I used to think I was quite good at maths, I can no longer help with their homework without watching a video. And to be honest, if they are stuck, it probably means it's not covered in the video anyway. The biggest challenge at the minute though is encouraging physical exercise. Teenagers have got a pretty good excuse not to leave the house in lockdown and it is hard to argue against this - but I do fear their general levels of fitness are plummeting, and the odd walk in the country is doing little to address this. Roll on April! #MischiefandMemories

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    1. Yep. My teen's fencing was cancelled in lockdown and he never went back once it resumed....it's hard.

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  20. Such a perfect quote. I have come to realise that my daughter is here to teach me so much. And that even after nearly 50 years on this earth, I will learn from her as much as she does from me! #MischiefandMemories

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  21. When my 3 children were little I missed my space, my career and thought it would never end. Now they are 20, 16 and 15 and I miss those times. They are different to what I expected and very much loved. What I am thrilled about is that they challenge ideas and authority, have strong values and care for others. I learn from them all. I love your post. #MischiefandMemories

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  22. I remember this post! It's fantastic advice for new and old-hats of the parenting world. We want our little ones to be themselves, but it does require a bit of re thinking and jiggling because our dreams for them as just that, dreams. They will have their own to follow. Thank you for joining us for #MischiefAndMemories xxx

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  23. This year has been strange and parenting has taken on an extra dimension as we attempt to complete home learning as well! Thanks for linking up with #MischiefAndMemories and please remember to complete your commenting by 9pm on Fridays

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  24. Thanks for joining us on #MischiefAndMemories

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